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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2008
    Location
    East Central Illinois
    Posts
    124

    Unhappy Well water smells like rotten eggs!!!!!!!

    Does anybody know of a solution to "cure" well water that smells and tastes like sulpher, aka "rotten-egg-smell"

    I use a water softener with salt that takes out iron "rust stains" and makes the water much more "soft" but the "rotten-egg-smell" is here to stay



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
    Posts
    9,049

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    Time to pay for a deeper well. The sulfur is usually caused by having a shallow well. I learned this when I boarded C&C at a barn where I thought the bathroom smelled bad Turned out to be the water.

    Deeper the well, better filtering system.

    But first get your county extension agent to test your well water for other contaminants.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    That smell can mean the well has bacteria in it (or that they're somewhere in the water line) They make hydrogen sulfide, which is the stinky stuff. I think you have to either have the water tested to make sure there aren't any contaminants, and/or install an in-line purifier of some sort.

    We had ONE FAUCET in our new house that began to smell--it was just a faulty one, and once replaced everything was fine. Not quite rotten eggs, but close.

    http://www.water-research.net/sulfate.htm
    Click here before you buy.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    176

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    How good of a water softner do you have? When I bought my house, the water was awful and it passed the water inspection test required for bacteria and contaminants. The water softner that came with the house was one that you could pick up anywhere. Well, when it died, I got quotes from some water softner companies like Culligan-waay too expensive. I bought a softner that cost me around $2,000 and that made a hugh difference. There is still a SLIGHT smell but nothing like it was before. I also have ALOT of iron in my water. Good luck-I know exactly what you are dealing with.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2007
    Posts
    703

    Default

    Soooo, there is a magnesium anode rod in your water softener. Usually screwed to the top of the tank. It "collects" the stuff in your tank that makes the tank corrode and rot. Essentially, the rod corrodes rather than the tank. Often depending on the configuration of your water, the mag rod reacts with the water and gives off the rotten egg smell.

    You really have two choices - live with the smell or remove the rod from your tank. Your tank will rot much faster than the manufacturer says, and you void the warranty on the tank. I'd rather replace the tank (about every five years for my house) than live with the smell. I am fussy about how the water that I drink smells.

    If you decide to remove the rod - be very careful as the rod can be very hot, as it is sitting in the hot water in the tank.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    4,737

    Default

    Ah, sulfur wells... I didn't even know such a problem existed until I moved to TN.

    Supposedly continuous shocking works to remove the odor, although there's that pesky, minor detail of not being able to drink the water.

    Manganese greensand filters also supposedly remove the sulfur. But I don't know too many people who use them. I'm not sure if it's a cost prohibitive thing or because of another reason.

    Most folks around here just get used to it, unfortunately.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2007
    Posts
    250

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rothmpp View Post
    Soooo, there is a magnesium anode rod in your water softener. Usually screwed to the top of the tank. It "collects" the stuff in your tank that makes the tank corrode and rot. Essentially, the rod corrodes rather than the tank. Often depending on the configuration of your water, the mag rod reacts with the water and gives off the rotten egg smell.
    Is it the water heater or the water softener? When I suddenly started having a problem with smelly water, I had a rod removed from my newly installed water heater. The problem was solved.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
    Location
    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
    Posts
    6,190

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    My husband installed an aeration system and a gigantic filtering tank (that flushes out the bad stuff at 2AM daily) to remove the sulfur smell from our well water here in Florida. The filter tank is about 6 feet tall, and had to be delivered on a semi truck! But it works. He got the information on the internet as to what he needed.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2000
    Location
    NE TN, USA
    Posts
    6,201

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    Quote Originally Posted by MunchkinsMom View Post
    My husband installed an aeration system and a gigantic filtering tank (that flushes out the bad stuff at 2AM daily) to remove the sulfur smell from our well water here in Florida. The filter tank is about 6 feet tall, and had to be delivered on a semi truck! But it works. He got the information on the internet as to what he needed.
    That was very popular around the spacecenter area in the '60s. Most of the systems were home-made. NASA engineers had a practical side!

    They pumped the water into a holding tank that was aerated with a bubbler system and then pumped into the household pressure pump and tank. Some of them got pretty elaborate, but they worked.
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2003
    Location
    Fort Myers, Florida
    Posts
    2,667

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    Quote Originally Posted by MunchkinsMom View Post
    My husband installed an aeration system and a gigantic filtering tank (that flushes out the bad stuff at 2AM daily) to remove the sulfur smell from our well water here in Florida. The filter tank is about 6 feet tall, and had to be delivered on a semi truck! But it works. He got the information on the internet as to what he needed.
    Here is SW Fl practically everyone that still has a well has the aeration system. (I have a very deep well too) The water is pumped from the well into a large fiberglass container where it is sprayed in...the spraying releases the sulfur as a gas and removes the taste. Then it is pumped from there into the house as needed.

    I was always told by the old timers that didn't use the system that you get used to it..which I never believed...but honestly after a while you just about don't smell it. My water is very hard though so it still tastes a little off to me so I cook with it but buy bottled water for drinking.
    "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Posts
    5,197

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    Check to make sure your softener system is set up correctly. When I bought my house, they had this expensive softener system but there was only one small tube into the thing. No way for water to pass thru it. All it did was leak water into the wellhouse. So I bypassed it and the water is MUCH better. It was souring sitting in the holding tanks of the softener system.

    And the thing about the deeper well is correct. Without the softener system, my water is pretty good. My neighbors didn't put their well in as deep as mine is, and their water is awful. Our wells are less than 50 feet apart.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2007
    Posts
    703

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxyrab View Post
    Is it the water heater or the water softener? When I suddenly started having a problem with smelly water, I had a rod removed from my newly installed water heater. The problem was solved.
    Oh good god - this is what I get for not re-reading my posts before submitting when I have a headache. You're so right... it's the heater, not the softener...



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    14,615

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    CHLORINATION OF WELL PROCEDURE

    Rid your well water of that rotten egg smell and iron bacteria with this temporary solution.


    BEFORE PROCEEDING be sure that you fully understand the characteristics of your well, the well pump and all related hardware. IF YOU ARE UNSURE OF YOUR SYSTEM OR ANY PART OF THIS PROCEDURE please consult a well expert for advice or assistance in doing this work. COSTLY AND IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE MAY RESULT IF WORK IS DONE BY OTHER THAN A KNOWLEDGEABLE INDIVIDUAL. These are intended to be generic instructions. Wells vary considerably in design.

    There are often relatively harmless bacteria that exist in wells that cause slime like residues with iron and manganese. They also are often the cause of hydrogen sulfide that is the source of the rotten egg odor. These bacteria prevent proper operation of filters and softeners and cause taste, odor and staining problems.

    It is often possible to control and even eliminate the bacteria problems with a single or relatively infrequent chlorination of a well.

    A common, generic procedure is as follows:

    1.Locate at or near the bottom of the well system pressure tank either a valve or a plug. If a valve open this to flush out the bottom of the tank. If a plug, TURN OFF THE POWER TO THE WELL PUMP AND OPEN A CONVENIENT FAUCET TO RELIEVE THE PRESSURE. With pressure relieved, remove the plug and turn the power on to the well and run this way until clear. Reverse the procedure and replace the plug.

    2.Mix 2 gallons of standard household liquid chlorine bleach into 5 gallons of water. Adding four (4) ounces of food-grade polyphosphate can enhance the process. This can be a non-sudsing laundry aid or can be ordered from the factory or distributor for $10.00. Use of polyphosphate is helpful but not critical.

    3.On systems with pitless adapters or of similar design, remove the cap. To obtain access to the well casing. Take care to avoid getting any dirt or debris into the casing, as it is almost impossible to remove and may cause well or pump damages. Some well systems such as shallow well driven point design will require some ingenuity and patience in order to expose the draw pipe.

    4.Pour in the above mixture.

    5.Connect a hose to any outside faucet. Bring the hose to the well.

    6.Turn on the water at the outside faucet.

    7.Allow water to circulate for about 15 minutes. When this is happening you will soon be getting a bleach smell at the hose. As you circulate, move the hose around and you will be washing down the inside of the casing or draw pipe. That is helpful for the long-term success of the process.

    8.While the water is circulating open ALL faucets in the house one at a time and flush all toilets once or twice until the smell of bleach is noticed at every faucet in the house. Turn off each faucet when the smell is noticed.

    9.Pour an additional one (1) gallon of UNDILUTED bleach into the well and continue circulating for another 15 minutes.

    10.Turn off the hose and allow the entire system to rest with NO WATER FLOW FOR AT LEAST FOUR (4) HOURS. If at all possible, allow the system to remain with no water use other than toilet flushing over night.

    11.Flush the hose water down the well until the water is clear of the chlorine smell. Turn off the hose.

    12.Open each faucet until the smell of bleach is absent.

    13.Replace the well fittings.


    If this procedure must be repeated more than two or three times a year, review the process to be certain that there is not a leg of the plumbing that is not being properly treated. If you are satisfied that the procedure was properly done, then you should consider installing a chemical feed pump. Failure of this procedure to work long-term is an indication of an aquifer that is contaminated, or in the case of hydrogen sulfide, there is a natural source of the gas that is not associated with a bacteria in the water.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2000
    Location
    Aiken, SC
    Posts
    2,371

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
    Time to pay for a deeper well. The sulfur is usually caused by having a shallow well. I learned this when I boarded C&C at a barn where I thought the bathroom smelled bad Turned out to be the water.

    Deeper the well, better filtering system.

    But first get your county extension agent to test your well water for other contaminants.

    Define deep.
    My well is over 400 feet deep and I have the same problem. I have a water softner and a huge ass filter. They help but I have to replace the filter every 30 days at $24.00 a pop.
    I didn't know about the anode rod thingy in the water heater so I will be removing that tomorrow.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2002
    Posts
    5,929

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    Thankfully my water does not smell like anything but rust! I have gotten used to it now. The barn that I am managing and moved into the apartment has a water sofener/purification system, but sadly it is broken at the moment and is on the list to get fixed. Until then I just have to deal with the rusty taste when I shower etc. Luckily there is a water purification system on the refrigerator for the water out of the door and that water is drinkable. I stick to bottled water though.

    I am so glad my water does not smell like rotten eggs!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2006
    Posts
    9,989

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    Sulfur smell is often from sulfur in the water, combining with oxygen as it comes out of the faucet.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2003
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Posts
    1,356

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    I have a water dispenser from Culligan for drinking and cooking. The clothes don't get real clean, but the drinking water is good.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2007
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Could also be methane gas in your water....



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    14,147

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    Our well is a 360' deep artesian but if water collects and stands (i.e. in the jacuzzi) it will smell of sulphur. We have had it tested but, apart from being salty, it is good water. It stains the toilets though from the minerals. Country living



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2008
    Location
    MidWest
    Posts
    164

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    Ours only smells like rotten eggs after a really, really heavy rain, and it's a 380' deep well. It only stinks for a few days then goes away. Our old house the water stank always and you just get used to it. We kept water in a pitcher in the fridge and after an overnight in the fridge the smell dissipated.



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