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Well Water Odors: Common Causes & How To Remove Them

Causes of smelly well water

So, you've noticed that your well water stinks. Not to worry - there are plenty of solutions for restoring it to its usual odor and taste. But first, there are several reasons why your well has changed, and it's important to identify the cause so you can find the right fix.

The smell of contaminated well water comes from hydrogen sulfide gas, which gives it a rotten egg taste and odor. Hydrogen sulfide gas can have a natural origin, e.g., decay or various reactions in the environment surrounding your water supply that may have contaminated the water supply. Sulfur is also a dangerous pollutant, although this is a less likely cause of contamination we do remove sulfur smell from well water.

If you think that your well has become contaminated with hydrogen sulfide, it's important to act quickly. Hydrogen sulfide can encourage other bacteria to grow and form a slime, which can clog your well, as well as pipes and irrigation systems. While the sulfur bacteria are not directly harmful, breathing in the sulfide gas can be extremely damaging to health.

Definitive signs that your water supply is contaminated with hydrogen include blackish stains appearing on plumbing fixtures or your silverware. Sulfur bacteria will also produce white, black or red-colored slime in the water. You might also observe corrosion from the hydrogen sulfide gas on the pipes or components the water fixture whole home water system.

How to get rid of smelly well water – permanently

If you suspect that your well has been contaminated with hydrogen sulfide gas, the first thing to do is have your water tested at a laboratory. Hydrogen sulfide encourages the presence of other chemicals, which may go unnoticed as they have no taste or odor. Getting a comprehensive test of the well water will identify whether it contains any other chemicals, such as nitrate or coliform bacteria.

If the laboratory test results confirm that the well is contaminated with hydrogen sulfide gas, the first thing to do is disinfect the water, usually with a potent chlorine solution that will kill all traces of the bacteria. Rather than do this yourself, it’s best to hire a contractor, as it’s a long and complex process.

Once in a well, sulfur bacteria are good at lingering. Consequently, the well cases will likely need a hard scrub, the right chemicals will need to be selected, and the water will need agitating before the disinfection process. If the presence of hydrogen sulfide has also contaminated the water with iron, this process will be made even more difficult. However, we offer iron filters for well water also & once completed, the well should be quickly restored to its usual quality.

There are, however, other options. For example, there are a variety of water filters for well and cleaning systems to restore your home water’s quality. Additionally, there’s always the option of constructing a new well.

Act fast when it comes to smelly well water

When it comes to smelly well water, it's essential to act fast. When in doubt, seek help from a reliable specialist, and ALWAYS test the water. Though hydrogen sulfide and sulfur bacteria aren't the most harmful water contaminants, they represent an ongoing problem to the integrity of your water supply.