Why Does My Water Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

When we think of water, we imagine clear, beautiful streams of crystal clear refreshment…not stinky eggs. So, it is a definite surprise when you fill a glass from the tap, tilt up to take a sip to get a big whiff of rotten eggs. 

But why does your water smell and taste like that, and how can you fix it? Let’s go over the reasons why you may be smelling this nasty odor in your water and how you can remedy the situation. 

What Is The Rotten Egg Smell/Taste In My Water?

The smell is from hydrogen sulfide gas, or sulfur. It’s natural odor gives your water a rotten egg smell and/or taste. Sulfur can be found in:

  • Well water
  • Groundwater
  • Plumbing systems

Why Does My Water Have Sulfur In It?

There are a few reasons this could be happening. The gas could be naturally occurring in your groundwater as a result of decay and chemical reactions with soil and rocks. It could also be produced by bacteria in the groundwater, well or plumbing system. 

Is Hydrogen Sulfide Dangerous?

While sulfur bacteria is fine in small doses, it can grow and spread to clog pipes and water heaters. When hydrogen sulfide gas gets into the air, it can be harmful at higher (more concentrated) levels, so it is important to remove the gas from the water or vent the gas safely into the atmosphere. If you have a well with this issue, you must call a well professional to come and help you with properly ventilate the area and take measures to protect your water supply.

How Can I Tell If Sulfur Is Causing The Issue?

More often than not, it is sulfur that is causing the rotten egg smell, but it is recommended to get your water tested just in case it is from sewage or other pollution that may be harmful if ingested.

Other ways you will be able to tell if you have sulfur in your water:

  • Bacterial slime may be present (white, gray, black or reddish brown tinted slime)
  • Black stains on your silverware and plumbing fixtures which indicate sulfur gas.
  • Corrosion on your pipes and/or water heater also indicate sulfur gas is present.

What If The Smell Is Only Present In My Hot Water?

If you notice that the rotten egg smell is only present in your hot water, it is possible that the odor is being produced in your water heater. In this situation, it is most likely that the odor is caused by bacteria that are collecting in your water heater. If this is the case, you will need to have your water heater sanitized to remove the bacteria and the odor from your hot water. If left untreated, contaminated water can cause a myriad of other problems for your health and your home. 

What If The Problem Is With My Groundwater?

If your groundwater has sulfur in it, you can install a home water filtration system. That will help filter out any of the gasses and their respective smells and tastes that go with it. You could also dig a new well, but sometimes the area has sulfur deposits throughout and a new well simply won’t do the trick.

Is It Possible My Water Softener Has Sulfur Bacteria In It?

It is a possibility. To find out, you can tell by the presence of slime or black stains we mentioned earlier. Performing a chlorination rinse or unti replacement are two ways to fix the issue. Usually only older softeners will have this issue. Speak with a water specialist to figure out your best course of action.

Enhance Your Life With A Water Purifier

The water you drink should be safe and healthy for everyone in your household. At Independent Water Service, you can get cleaner, clearer drinking water today with an EcoWater drinking water purification system. We proudly service all of Yakima and Kittitas counties and are just a call away from purer and healthier water.  

Contact us today to schedule your free water quality test and rest assured your water is pure.