Re: foul water odor
Posted by Al on January 30, 1999 at 16:51:30:
In response to Re: foul water odor
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: : : Ralph:--Is the water smelly as delivered from the well or only after it arrives from the water heater?
: : : If it is the latter , the odor is that of Hydrogen Sulphide gas that is generated from the anode rod inside the water heater. As the anode is consumed in trying to protect the tanks innards, it gives off Hydrogen and Oxygen. It is this Hydrogen that couples to any free atoms present in the water to form the "rotten egg" odor
: : : of Hydrogen Sulphide Gas. Removing the anode will void your warranty on your water heater, but will probably get rid of the odor problem.
: : : Lots of luck........Bud

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: : : I have a smelly water problem in a second home with a submersible pump and electric water heater which is kept on even during periods we are not using the house. I have a plastic filter element between the pump and heater which I periodically remove (after draining the heater) and run clorox through the system. This usually eliminates the sulphur odor for a few months. A plumber advised me to drop clorox (did he say chlorine?) pellets such as used in swimming pools into the well. Does this sound right? While we don't usually drink the water we do bathe, brush and wash dishes in it. I'd much prefer this method if safe as draining, flushing, refilling and getting the water system back in shape is a tedious process. Any suggestions? Thanks.

We have grown to live with the hydrogen sulfide odor at our second home that originates in a natural gas producing geological formation about 125 down from the surface. Actually we find that it keep the mosquitoes and ticks at bay, and company doesn't stay as long!!! :>) You can purchase in line carbon filters which will eliminate a good deal of the odor, but the cartridges will usually have to be used in conjuction with a sediment filter as the well water will clog up the pain carbon filter pretty fast. You can probably wrangle some information from the well driller if you can track him down as to his log on the well. If the gas show he encountered is high enough above the main water producing formation for the well, and if the flow rate of the zone is pushing the main water up into the gas producing zone, and if you have 6-8" surface pipe (the big pipe at the top of the well), there is a fix for the gas problem that involves dropping a sufficient number of sections of 4.5" casing into the water 30-70' below the gas producing zone and installing a rubber cup at that point that seals off the surface water and the gas contamination of the potable water. You might need to vent the gas off from the well if it's producing enough to "whoof" a lighter. If you have had the water tested for coliform and guardia cycsts, it it most likely good to drink, although it may not make the most tasty coffee in the county. The odor disappears after exposure to an uncaptured (out of the pipe) environment, and does not stink up your clothes or skin. Good luck!

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