How to Treat ‘Rotten Egg’ or Sulfur Well Water

Published On: April 28, 20210 Comments on How to Treat ‘Rotten Egg’ or Sulfur Well WaterTags: Last Updated: February 7, 20242.6 min read

Having problematic well water at your home can be incredibly frustrating. You come back from a stressful day at work, fill up a bathtub with hot water to relax and unwind… As it fills up, there’s a nasty rotten egg odor filling up the bathroom coming right from that hot water. Not just that, you even notice brown, black, and reddish-orange, particles floating in the water. What’s going on?

How to Treat ‘Rotten Egg’ or Sulfur Well Water

Don’t worry, these ‘symptoms’ and rust stains are common issues for many homeowners. Fortunately, they’re pretty simple to fix with the help of a few tools like an iron filter, or some 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. In this article, we’ll describe the major causes of these problems, and how you can prevent them from recurring in the future. Let’s begin!

Ways to Deal with Well Water Issues

You can use many different methods to remove sulfur content from the water. Each treatment method’s effectiveness depends on several factors, including the amount of iron and manganese in the water, the water’s sulfur level, and whether the bacterial contamination needs to be treated. Consider the simplicity, cost, maintenance, and chemical expenses of each of the following treatment methods to figure out which one works best for you.

1.   Iron removal filter method

An iron filter is one of the best ways to treat sulfur water. It eliminates manganese, iron, and hydrogen sulfide from the water. The filter functions by oxidizing the hydrogen sulfide content and turning it onto insoluble sulfur, which the filtering process removes later.   

2.   Use a proper whole house water filter

If you find a distinct sulfur odor at only certain sinks in your home, the water might not be smelly at all. The source can be somewhere near the smelly sinks, either in the drains, pipes, or fixtures. In this case, you’ll have to simply disinfect your plumbing to get rid of the odor. However, if every faucet at your home gives off the same sulfur smell, the water itself is the source, and you’ll need to especially treat it for well water smells. For this, installing a well water filtration system with a UV filter for your house would be recommended as a long-term fix.

How to Treat ‘Rotten Egg’ or Sulfur Well Water - well water

3.   Add hydrogen peroxide

To get rid of anaerobic bacteria from well water, you can also perform a 3% hydrogen peroxide flush. You’ll have to first shut off your water heater’s cold-water intake valve, and drain some of its water out. Then, disconnect the metal hose connecting the heater to the cold-water section. Use 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and pour one cup for every 10 gallons of your geyser’s capacity. For example, a 40-gallon tank will need about 4 cups of the solution.

Finally, reconnect the disconnected hose and turn the intake valve on to refill. Let it sit for a few hours as the peroxide destroys the anaerobic bacteria, removing their pungent smell. Using chlorine bleach is also a viable option, but the 3% hydrogen peroxide is much safer to use.  

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