The occurrence of the “rotten eggs” smell in your home is a nuisance, and is most likely caused from the chemical reaction between sulfates and microorganisms in the water supply. The problem can occur in your well, in your hot water heater and hot water lines, or in both your hot and cold water pipes leading from your household plumbing.
Potential Sources of Hydrogen Sulfide in Your Water Distribution System and Well Water
A variety of sources can be the cause of hydrogen sulfide gas. It can be a natural manifestation in your groundwater, and it can be the basis for the rotten eggs smell. Hydrogen sulfide can produce several types of sulfur microbes in your water distribution system, well, or ground water. A chemical reaction happening within your water heater can also be the cause of the rotten eggs smell, due to the production of sulfur bacteria.
Uncommonly, pollution can also cause the unmistakable smell of hydrogen sulfide. Because of the various causes of the rotten eggs smell, finding the source of the gas is essential when considering treatment options.
Are Hydrogen Sulfates and their Counterparts Detrimental to my Family?
Hydrogen sulfate gas can be harmful to you and your loved ones at high levels, but because of the potent rotten eggs smell, it is easily detected at extremely low levels.
In general, the evident smell of hydrogen sulfide gases in your water supply does not relate to its quality or sanitary level. Though, there are infrequent incidences where the gas is the result of deteriorating sewage and other contaminants. This is why it is always best to have your well tested for the standard levels of coliform bacteria and nitrate.
It is vital that you take the steps necessary to remove all traces of H2S from your environment. A professional water treatment specialist can help to remove the cause of the rotten eggs smell from your water.
Remember, that only trained people who are licensed and educated in the latest safety procedures should enter a well pit or any area where H2S is present.
Can Hydrogen Sulfide and Sulfur Bacteria Cause Other Issues?
Put simply, yes. These chemicals can stimulate the development of other microorganisms, including iron bacteria, and sulfur bacteria is known for producing a slime that is destructive to irrigation and plumbing systems, and it can obstruct your well.
The microbial goo can be several colors, including white, black, and copper if it is linked iron bacteria. Hydrogen sulfide is also quite corrosive if it is in your water supply. It can cause dark stains on mental plumbing fixtures and it can discolor your kitchen utensils as well. Because of its caustic nature, it can also oxidize the metal workings of your water distribution system.
Finding and Eliminating the H2S Odors from Your Home
Because of the putrid rotten eggs smell, hydrogen sulfide gas can be detected as very low levels. Smell the water as it comes out of both your hot and cold faucets, so you can conclude which tap has the odor. You may notice the smell more when the hot water is run, since heat causes more of the gases to be evaporated.