Of all of the different smells that tap water can develop, the rotten egg smell is probably the worst. It is a strong and offensive odor that would make anyone weary of consuming the water that gives it off. Although this is a relatively common problem with tap water, it’s also something that can fixed. Today we’re going to help you do that by talking about why your tap water might smell like rotten eggs and what you can do to remove the smell!
Why does some tap water smell like rotten eggs?
- Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in well water. The rotten egg smell is most commonly found in well water. This happens when the water in a well contains sulfur-reducing bacteria (SRB), which are often present in oxygen deficient environments like deep wells. When that water comes into contact with rocks and soil underground that contain sulfur, there is a chemical reaction that produces the rotten egg smell.
- Corroded anode rod in water heater. Another common explanation for a rotten egg smell in tap water is that your water heater has an anode rod that is made of magnesium. When these types of anode rods begin to corrode, they react with sulfur in water and produce the H2S that gives off the rotten egg smell.
- Sewage pollution in water supply. If there is a sewage leak near a surface water or groundwater supply, that sewage can directly contaminate your home’s water with H2S.
Are there any health effects of tap water with a rotten egg smell?
If your tap water smells like rotten eggs, you almost certainly would like to know if it’s safe to consume. In most cases, the amount of H2S that’s in the water will not pose any health threats to the people who consume it. However, in instances when the smell is coming from a sewage leak, your water may contain other dangerous contaminants that can affect your health.
In addition, the strong smell of rotten eggs can alter the taste and smell of your water to the point that it becomes unpalatable. This makes it harder to drink enough water, which is an essential daily nutrient.
How can you get rid of the rotten egg smell in tap water?
Removing the rotten egg smell from your tap water depends on its source. If the smell is coming from your water heater, you can fix it by replacing the magnesium anode rod with one that is made of aluminum or another type of metal.
If the smell is coming from hydrogen sulfide in your source water, you can remove it by installing a water treatment system in your home. An activated carbon filter is great for removing small traces of H2S, while an ion exchange system can handle larger traces. Have your water tested for free by EPA Water and we’ll recommend the type of system that will best work for the water in your home!
If you have any questions about why your tap water smells like rotten eggs, or if you’d like a water system serviced or installed in your home, contact EPA Water Consultants, your water softener and water filtration system dealer in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We provide service all over Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including towns like Lansdale, Chalfont and New Hope, PA.
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