My Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs – Sulfur Odor Issues

sulfur odor in well water

Sulfur Can Be Caused By:

  • A Bacteria – called sulfate-reducing bacteria
  • A Gas – called hydrogen sulfide
  • Your Hot Water Heater – because the rod contains sulfate

Is it Harmful?

Rarely – per the EPA.  But it really can stink. It can make the water taste bad and if the levels are high enough, it can act like a laxative and make you sick to your stomach. But most people wouldn’t drink it because of the smell.

Where Does Sulfur Odor Come From?

Mother nature is mostly responsible for sulfur odor. Common causes include decaying organic matter like plants and leaves, swamps, wetlands.

Sulfate can be found in minerals. Harmless bacteria can digest some of the sulfate and then release the sulfur odor.

well water sulfur odor

What Should I Do If My Water Smells Like Sulfur?

First – determine if it’s from your hot OR cold or both.

If it’s ONLY from you hot water – then you will need to call a plumber to remove the anode rod.

Why remove the rod? Because IF your water has sulfate-reducing bacteria, the rod becomes a food source. You would replace the sulfate containing rod with an aluminum rod.

Second – if your hot AND cold water smell, then you may need a carbon unit for the whole house.

One quick test – see if your refrigerator water dispenser smells ok.  Your dispenser has a carbon filter. If the carbon works there, you know carbon will work for the entire house.

Should You Test For Sulfur Odor?

No. It’s useless to send it out for a sulfur test because the smell escapes before it gets to the lab. Some water treatment companies will test for hydrogen sulfide in your home. Like us.

Generally, if you smell it, you have it.