Sulfur/rotten egg smell

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Mad Plumber, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. Mad Plumber

    Mad Plumber Mad Skills

    Aug 13, 2005
    My water in my home (well on my farm) has an awful sulfur/rotten egg smell which I have been led to believe was due to one well being dug too close to another??? At any rate, someone has told me that an annode rod in my water heater may solve the problem. Could you advise? Thank you.

    carol ann
  2. rshackleford

    rshackleford Member

    Oct 18, 2005
    Eastern Montana (The Bakken)
    I would suggest treating the well first. Check out this thread.

    well stink

    This one is along those lines too.

    well contorls
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  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    An old unused well can cause the problem if it is in the cone of depression of the new well. Meaning that the new well is drawing old stagnant maybe smelly bacteria laden water out of the old well. So we'd have to know why there was a need for a new well.

    Here, treating the well first usually wastes time while solving nothing and can cause problems, although the odor will go away temporarily because the chlorine oxidizes the H2S or kills the bacteria producing the H2S. Then the odor returns in a few days or a week or two, and you start over.

    The anode rod removal or replacement with a different material, is only going to help IF the cause of the odor is bacteria colonizing the water heater. So if the odor is in the cold water too, and not only in the hot water, doing anything with the rod is not going to help. IF the odor is in the hot water only, raising the temp of the heater to 140f stops the odor.

    If the odor is in the cold water, it can be caused by IRB, SRB and/or MRB (iron, sulfate and manganese reducing bacteria). They are harmless to humans and animals. They live in the ground and surface waters; and love water heaters where the warm water is beneficial to them. If the odor is not caused by bacteria, then it it is naturally occurring H2S that comes into the well with the recovery water. Then you need equipment to treat it. There are a number of types of equipment and some are much better than others. Some of them are also used to kill the reducing types of bacteria; like chlorine, ozone, hydrogen peroxide in a number of different types of application. Such as solution feeders, inline pellet chlorine or pellet droppers. All are followed by a filter to remove the chlorine etc.. I usually use an inline pellet chlorinator and a Centaur carbon filter. You can also use an air pump system, using the same filter. Or a greensand filter only, or a Centaur carbon filter only although I have not done that.

    Quality Water Associates
  5. szinger

    szinger New Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    I live in a high sulfur area so I know the smell all too well.

    First thing I would do is have the water tested for both mineral and bacterial content. Many times this can be done for free or at a low price locally. Your State may have an office to do it free (or cost of postage) as well. This way you are not spending a lot of time and effort via trial-and-error looking for the issue.

    If it is bacterial, I don't know what direction to take (never had to deal with it).

    If it is sulfur/metals, I have used two Kinetico systems due to the level of our sulfur content.

    The first used Potassium permangate - effective but uses the purple granular compound that stains your hands and everything it touches. It is also a very effective oxidizing agent and degrades even some of the plastic parts after a while.

    My new system is Kinetico's SulfurGard that uses Hydrogen Peroxide as the oxidizing agent. Love it! Not cheap though!

    Hope that helps a little.
  6. szinger

    szinger New Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    Another thing that happens in my area from what the old-timers tell me (a city boy), especially around farms, is that they originally had relatively shallow, soft-water wells that many time were "points" or hand-dug. These shallow wells, however, are prone to being contaminated by bacteria from years of run-off from the farm animals.

    They then re-drill deeper wells because they are not up to present-day codes. In doing so, they hit a hard-water, sulfur zone (which I have).

    So, you lose if you go shallow or deep...!

    That's why I recommended having the water tested in my previous post, so that you know which problems you need to deal with instead of guessing.
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