Odor Problems in Well Water
"Smells Like Rotten Eggs or Septic"
One of the most common complaints when it comes to well water is odor. The following information may help you track down where the odor is coming from.
HOT vs. COLD ODOR DETERMINATION
First identify if the odor is coming from the hot water, cold water, or both.If the odor is just in the HOT water - the problem is the anode rod in the hot water heater.If the odor is in the COLD water (or both the hot and cold water) your problem may be one of the following:
Hydrogen Sulfide Gas
Your odor may be natural. Some wells have hydrogen sulfide gas and are natural sulfur wells.
Iron and/or Sulfur Bacteria
Some wells have iron or sulfur bacteria present that is beginning to breakdown (decompose) and smell like sulfur. See procedure below.
Pressure tank (not very common)
Some wells have a pressure tank that is fouled with bacteria that has become anaerobic (septic) and smell like sulfur. See procedure below.
COLD WATER ODOR DETERMINATION
1. Test the water at the pressure tank for coliform bacteria. That will tell you if the water is safe to drink. NOTE: A special container will be needed to complete this test, please order bacteria test online.
2. Clean the well - see "Well Cleaning Instructions " link on the Local Services page of this web site for detailed instructions.