If you notice a rotten egg smell in your water, this is because it probably consists of hydrogen sulfide gas. This type of gas releases an unpleasant and strong sulfur or rotten egg taste and odour. In some cases, the smell may only be present when running hot water or water is first turned on. Heat can force the gas into the air, which often causes the odour to be particularly offensive inside the shower.
how to get rid of hydrogen sulfide in water
Sources of Hydrogen Sulfide Gas
- Chemical reactions with minerals in rock and soil that contain sulfur or decaying organic matter.
- Bacteria that naturally convert sulfur compounds and occurring sulfate into hydrogen sulfide gas.
Hot water heaters can generate hydrogen sulfide gas in the following ways:
- Magnesium anodes supplying the electrons that sustain sulfate’s reaction to hydrogen sulfide gas.
- Providing an environment that is warm enough for the sulfate reducing bacteria to thrive.
Is Sulfur Dangerous?
- Hydrogen sulfates, sulfates and sulfur are not usually considered to be dangerous because the odour and taste are so unpleasant at low levels, which means that the smell and taste would prevent many people from drinking it long before it reaches hazardous levels.
- It is primarily regarded as a nuisance mainly because of the taste and smell. However, it can be corrosive to metals like brass, copper, steel and iron. It discolours brass and copper utensils and tarnishes silver.
- Hydrogen sulfide can create black or yellow stains on bathroom and kitchen fixtures.
- Tea or coffee may be discoloured while the taste and appearance of cooked foods may be tainted occasionally. Find out more at aquaoxfilters.com.
Getting the Rotten Egg Smell and Sulfur out of Water
Chlorine reacts quickly with hydrogen sulfide and forms a yellow, odourless, tasteless particle. Adding a relatively small amount of chlorine to the water system can get rid of hydrogen sulfur. The sulfur particles that are left behind create a yellow film on fixtures and clothing. Aggregate or sand filters can eliminate the yellow particles.
Exposure to Air
Oxygen reacts with hydrogen sulfide and forms a dissolved, odourless form of sulfur that is known as sulfate. Yellow sulfur particles might also form after aerating the water. Within aeration systems, injecting compressed air into a water system is possible but this must be removed from the water.
Activated carbon filters can be used to remove small amounts of hydrogen sulfide from water. This works by absorbing the hydrogen sulfide onto the carbon particles’ surface. Activated carbon filters are replaced periodically according to the amount of hydrogen sulfide that is present in the water. Frequent filter replacement will be necessary when levels of hydrogen sulfide range from moderate to high.
- Iron water filters or sulfur water filters can help to remove the metallic taste and rotten egg odour from your water by getting rid of the bacteria, iron and sulfur that causes the problem.
- If you experience a metallic taste or rotten egg smell in your water, it is advisable to contact a specialist who can identify the source of the problem and provide a solution that leaves your water smelling and tasting refreshing and natural.
- Filters can minimize frustration and save you money in the long run with the guarantee of making your water delicious and drinkable again.