How to effectively treat sulfur reducing bacteria in well water

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by sophiedog, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. sophiedog

    sophiedog New Member

    Aug 27, 2014
    I've been fighting smelly water and slight staining on both hot and cold for a while now. Water tests very good with iron at 0.24, ph 8.2, hardness 57. I had a sulfur gas test performed by the North Carolina State Lab (which takes about 30 days) and it showed sulfur bacteria negative but sulfur reducing bacteria positive. I have been treating the shared well (shared with one full time resident and three part time which I am one ) with food[​IMG] grade 35% hydrogen peroxide, 16oz about once a month and it seems to help. This is a drilled well about 200' deep.
    Now my personal system comprises a booster pump with pressure tank, a 10" trash filter around 30-40 microns, a 10" one micron filter and a Sterilight ultraviolet filter. The system is usually not used for two to three weeks at a time then used for about two weeks. When first arriving the water usually smells so I treat both filters with chlorine or peroxide. The filters are brownish in color and the treatment causes the faucet water to turn brown, clear up after a few minutes of running and be odor free for about 7 to 10 days then start smelling again. Filter treatment solves the problem for the same period. Is the buildup in the filters causing the problem? The hose bib water that is unfiltered doesn't seem to get bad. Would just plain aeration with a venturi type aerator work? I would appreciate any suggestions on how to treat this problem.
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2013
    Non expert. I have a single tank filter that is effective against my sulfur and iron, but your water may differ. I am not saying your water is more difficult. A few comments follow, and maybe one could be useful.

    You are distinguishing sulfur bacteria from sulfur reducing bacteria. Don't know about that.

    Have you tried sanitizing your system? I like this process:

    Is the smell recognized as H2S, or is it maybe some other kind of smell?

    Your filters for non-chlorinated water should not be cellulose. Use polypropylene instead.

    How about running some chlorine into your filters when closing the place down for a couple weeks rather than when you come back?

    Hardness 57 --- PPM, grains/gallon, something else? Pretty much irrelevant for the smell thing.

    I would flush your hot water heater. It may not help with anything, but I got a lot of stuff out of mine. However the water heater was in use long before I put filters in.
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  4. sophiedog

    sophiedog New Member

    Aug 27, 2014
    Test showed sulfur bacteria negative but sulfur reducing bacteria positive, don't know the difference but some say you never get rid of it (?). I am using poly filters and have sanitized my system a few times. As far as smell goes it's worse than the sulfur smell hard to describe.
  5. Smooky

    Smooky In the Trades

    Apr 4, 2011
    North Carolina
  6. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Nov 29, 2010
    GAC filter, back washed.
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