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Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs


How to Remove Rotten Egg Smell from Water


By Mark J. Donovan



Water smelling like rotten eggs is a common problem with those on well water. Typically the egg smell is stronger when the water is heated, so it is particularly noticed when turning on the hot faucets. The water can even have a slightly nasty taste.

The rotten egg water smell is caused from non-toxic bacteria in the water. The particular bacteria is known as Divibrio Sulfurcans and it often enters the well water through a break in the ground well piping. In order to live the bacteria converts sulfate into a hydrogen sulfide gas.


It is the hydrogen sulfide gas that produces the rotten egg smell in the water.

Though non-toxic the rotten smelling egg water can be quite unappealing to drink. To remove the stench from the water you need to treat the well with chlorine. The common method for removing the rotten egg smell from the water involves shock chlorinating the well.



Typically multiple shock treatments are necessary to kill off the bacteria in the water. It is wise to hire a professional water treatment company to address this problem so that you do not over chlorinate your well water and to totally eliminate the problem. Permanently removing the bacteria is not always easy.

For more permanent solutions a plumber can also install a chlorine and aeration system into your water supply.

Also the bacteria can build up in your drains if they are used infrequently. We’ve experienced this problem in our summer home where we leave the home for extended periods of time. To resolve the rotten egg water smell we pour a cup or so of bleach into the drain to kill the bacteria and eliminate the rotten egg smell from the water. Usually it takes a few days for the smell to finally fade away.


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