Deanna asks:
I would like to know what causes water to smell like rotten eggs. My neighbor down two doors from me is having this problem. The only source of water to their house comes from a well. I notice this every time I turn their outside faucet on to water her garden and or turn on her faucets within the house. It all smells like rotten egss. They of course do not consume the water.
Can you tell me why and what I can do about eliminating the awful smell of rotten eggs.

The Water Doctor Replied:

It sounds like you have sulfur (hydrogen sulfide) or sulfate-reducing bacteria in your water. Either way, you treat it the same. When treating for Sulfur or Hydrogen Sulfide in your water, it is imperative that a good analysis of the water be performed. Not just for sulfur, but for a number of other contaminants, including hardness, pH, manganese, sulfur, TDS and others. The inter-relationships of the different contaminats will help in chosing the best technology to solve your problem.

With a Detailed Laboratory Analysis, I will be able to confidently recommend the appropriate treatment and will provide a Performance Guarantee with the system. Sulfur is generally measured in parts per million or ppm. It is not considered hazardous to health. Sulfur is considered a secondary or aesthetic contaminant. The present recommended limit for sulfur in water, 0.3 mg/l (ppm), is based on taste and appearance rather than on any detrimental health effect. Private water supplies are not subject to the rules, but the guidelines can be used to evaluate water quality.

Sulfur in wells generally does not cause health problems, but can have the following unpleasant and possibly expensive effects:

* Cause odors
* Corrode plumbing equipment
* Reduce well yields by clogging screens and pipes
* Increase chances of sulfur bacteria infestation

There are many ways by which sulfur can be removed from the water and most operate on the principal of oxidizing the sulfur (oxidation) to convert it from a gas to a solid or undissolved state. Once in the solid state, sulfur can be filtered. There are many ways to do this but I prefer Filox or Hydrogen Peroxide.

Here’s a link to various methods of removing the sulfur or rotten-egg odor: