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Why Does Your Well Water Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

Four generations of experience installing, maintaining and
repairing wells throughout Utah and Wyoming.
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Rotten Egg Water Smell

Does your well water bombard you with the smell of rotten eggs before the glass even reaches your lips?

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Why does your water have such a terrible odor? And more importantly, how can you fix it? Let’s explore the all-too-common problem of sulfates in your well water.

What Causes the Rotten Egg Smell in Well Water?

You can thank hydrogen sulfide gas for the foul odor. But where does the gas come from?

Sulfate, a form of sulfur, is a mineral that naturally occurs in soil and rock formations throughout Utah and Wyoming. Because of this, hydrogen sulfide may be present naturally in the groundwater that supplies your well.

Hydrogen sulfide gas also may be created by certain types of sulfur-reducing bacteria.

Decaying underground organic materials can react with minerals in the soil and rock. When the groundwater flows through this decomposing matter, bacteria in the groundwater produce sulfide gas.

But the problem can originate from other sources too.

Sulfur-reducing bacteria can be present in some water heaters. Does yours use a magnesium rod in the tank? If so, that might also be the source of hydrogen sulfide gas and the resulting rotten egg smell.

Is This Smelly Well Water Safe to Drink?

You probably aren’t too eager to drink water that smells like rotten eggs. But should you? Or would it be hazardous to your health?

In most cases, the odor doesn’t affect the sanitary quality of your water, and it should be safe for drinking, cooking and bathing. However, high levels of hydrogen sulfide gas in the air can be dangerous.

For that reason, it is important to remove the gas from your well water.

How Can You Remove the Rotten Egg Smell from Your Well Water?

A well service expert is your best bet at removing the odor, as they can identify the source and suggest an appropriate treatment.

If your problem is in your residential well, a strong chlorine solution can be used to flush the casing. Flushing also can address any issues with your water heater. But if the hydrogen sulfide is in the groundwater, flushing will provide only a temporary fix.

For a long-lasting groundwater fix, we can install an active carbon filter or oxidizing filter. An oxidation-filtration system is another option for mitigating high levels of sulfide gas.

Whatever the problem may be, you can’t know for sure until you have the water professionally tested. For a full evaluation of your well, contact Mike Zimmerman Well Service today. Serving Utah and south Wyoming, we understand the importance of maintaining your water’s safety.

Besides, even if it won’t cause any harm, no one should have to drink well water that smells like rotten eggs!