Rotten Egg Odor? That’s Hydrogen Sulfide in Your Water

Hydrogen sulfide gas is colorless but it is certainly -not- odorless or tasteless. That musty, swampy smell and taste in your water is probably caused by hydrogen sulfide. It can be awful but you don’t have to live with it.

What is hydrogen sulfide?

Hydrogen sulfide gas can give your water a “musty” or “swampy” odor and taste. In higher concentrations you’ll detect a distinct, strong rotten egg smell and taste.

The source may be naturally occurring in groundwater or caused by sulfur bacteria in the groundwater, well, or plumbing system.

  • If the rotten egg odor is only present in hot water, the problem is likely to be caused by a reaction with the magnesium rod in your hot water heater. Replacing the magnesium rod with an aluminum rod should eliminate the rotten egg odor while maintaining corrosion protection.
  • If the smell is in both the hot and cold faucets but only from the water treated by a water softener and not in the untreated water the problem is likely to be sulfur bacteria in the water softener. This is rare.
  • If the smell is strong when the water in both the hot and cold faucets and is present in both treated and untreated water, the source is likely to be sulfur bacteria in the well or plumbing system or in groundwater.

Is hydrogen sulfide harmful to humans?

While the gas is poisonous and flammable, your nose will detect the presence of hydrogen sulfide long before it reaches a level dangerous to your health.

Other effects of hydrogen sulfide

Hydrogen sulfide can affect the appearance and taste of foods and beverages. It can also cause corrosion of metals in your plumbing system and may produce yellow or black stains on kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

How can hydrogen sulfide be removed if it gets in my drinking water?

There are a number of effective treatment to remove hydrogen sulfide from water. The type of treatment you choose will depend upon the amount of hydrogen sulfide/ sulfate present and the source.

Testing for hydrogen sulfide

Because it is a gas that can easily escape, testing for hydrogen sulfide should be done onsite in the home. Alternatively, the sample can be chemically stabilized before being sent to a commercial testing lab.

Pure Water Solutions offers a 9 point water test for free and without obligation.

Pure Water Solutions specializes water purification treatments including treatments that reliably remove hydrogen sulfide from your drinking water.

If you are concerned about hydrogen sulfide in your water, please contact Pure Water Solutions for a FREE Water Analysis.

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About Pure Water Solutions

Concerned or worried about the water in your home or office? Contact Pure Water Solutions or call 541-890-2751. We offer a free onsite water test and no obligation consultation. As Southern Oregon’s most trusted and reliable company for water filtration and treatment solutions we are proud to provide service to the following Oregon communities: Medford, Grants Pass, Ashland, Klamath Falls, Rogue River, Gold Hill, Shady Cove, Trail, Central Point, Eagle Point, White City, Phoenix, Talent, Jacksonville, Applegate, Williams, Murphy, Selma, Cave Junction, and Brookings.

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