Do you notice a particular kind of nasty smell every time you turn on the tap? Do you relate the smell of the water to rotten eggs? If you’ve experienced this or are experiencing this at the moment then don’t worry as we are here to help determine the issue.
The unpleasant smell that resembles rotten eggs is caused by sulfur bacteria and hydrogen sulfide gas present in the water.
Surprisingly, it is quite a common problem, a number of households have experienced this. Contrary to what you might be thinking, fixing this issue won’t cost you much, and you might even be able to do it yourself. Let’s take a deeper look at what causes your water to smell like rotten eggs.
The Cause of Rotten Eggs Smell in Your Water
The reason why your water probably smells like rotten eggs is due to the levels of sulfur bacteria and Hydrogen sulfide in your water supply. Even if there’s only a small amount of hydrogen sulfide in your water, it can result in an extremely bad odor.
Hydrogen Sulfide doesn’t pose any risk to your health but the rotten egg-like smell can just scare you from turning on your water.
However, if you notice an unpleasant smell while using hot water, it can be due to a chemical reaction occurring inside your hot water.
What is the Source of the Problem?
Now that you know what causes the rotten egg-like smell in your water, it is also imperative that you know what is the source of the problem. Here are some points to determine the source-
- If you notice the smell only with hot water, it might be related to the water geyser.
- If the smell is coming only from one room or faucet, the problem may be with the drains or pipes of the room.
- If the same is constant regardless of the water temperature, it is related to your water supply.
What are Hydrogen sulfides and Sulfates?
Sulfates are most commonly found in soil and rocks. With time, sulfates get dissolved into the groundwater. They do not produce any gas since they are odorless. Hydrogen Sulfide gas on the other hand comes naturally and can also come from different sources under the ground. Smelly water can also be a product of bacteria waste.
Can Sulfur Water Make You Sick?
You might be wondering now if Sulfur water is dangerous to your health. Well, the answer depends upon the level or amount of sulfur present in the water. Most households do not have a high amount of sulfur present in their water supply but if the sulfur level is extremely high it can cause nausea and stomach pain. A high level of sulfur can particularly be dangerous for infants.
How Does Sulfur Bacteria Contaminate Your water?
The rotten egg-like smell in your water is because of the sulfur bacteria present in your water supply. This can happen in three ways-
Bacteria Growing in the Drain
One of the most common reasons why your water smells like rotten egg is due to bacteria growing in drains or pipes.
With time, the organic matter gets accumulated in your drains which results in an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. The bacteria present in the drain can produce gas that smells like rotten eggs.
Bacteria Growing in Water Heater
If there are bacteria growing in your water heater or geyser it can result in a rotten egg-like smell. If your water heater isn’t being used for a very long time or the thermostat is set too low, it can result in the growth of bacteria.
Most of the time, these bacteria are not harmful to health however the odor and taste can be displeasing.
Bacteria Growing in the Water Source
If the water heater or drain are the real culprits, the odor may be coming from the water source. If this is the real culprit, do not use the water as the bacteria present poses health risks.
What Can be Done to Get Rid of Rotten Egg Smell?
If you experience an unpleasant rotten egg-like smell in your water, here are a few things that can be done:
Clean your pipes
Turn on all the taps in your home and let them run for at least 15 minutes. This should clear out your pipes and drains and hopefully, the unpleasant odor will be gone as well.
Clean and Disinfect Your Water Heater
If the real source of the rotten egg-like smell is your water heater then you need to turn off your heater and drain it completely. It may take 10-15 minutes. After that, wait for a few minutes and check if the unpleasant smell is still there or not.
You can also disinfect your heater by setting the temperature to 160 degrees for a couple of minutes. This should kill all the bacteria present in the water heater.
Install Water Filter
The best way to get off unpleasant smells from your water is simply by installing a water filter in your home. Not only will the water filter eliminate the odor but it can also improve the overall quality of the water. However, this is just a temporary solution, you may need to get your water filtration system service every few months.
Health Effects of Rotten Egg Odor
As discussed above, the normal amount of sulfate in the water does not pose any health risk. However, if the level of sulfate is 100 PPM or more can cause severe sickness.
- Eye irritation
- Weight loss
A moderate level of Sulfate in water can result in:
- Severe eye irritation
- Headaches and dizziness
- Respiratory irritation
A High level of Sulphate in water can result in:
- Inability to breathe
- Extreme rapid unconsciousness
- In the worst case, death
If you have been smelling rotten eggs in your water for more than a month then we suggest you call a professional to get your water tested.
A professional will help you find the real cause of the water and detect other harmful contaminants in your water. An expert will also provide the best solution to fix your problem.