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  • Elly Brian

My Water has a Rotten Egg Smell

Does your home's water have a rotten egg smell?

If you said “yes,” the most common culprit is sulfur that has found its way into your water supply. Sulfur is found in many home's water when their source is a private well. Sulfur occurs naturally and is picked up by water underground as it travels to your home.

The foul odor can become unbearable when showering, or washing your laundry. It usually comes from a lack of oxygen in a well, which produces hydrogen sulfide gas. It can also occur as a result of sulfur-containing chemical reactions in the groundwater.

Health Risks of Drinking Sulfur Water

Can sulfur water make you sick? The answer depends on the levels of hydrogen sulfide present in the water. For most homes, the levels are not high enough to cause any significant health concerns. If the concentration is too high, it can cause stomach aches and nausea and become problematic for infants. The biggest problem is taste and smell. But, too much sulfur in your water can lead to the following issues:

  • Diarrhea and Dehydration: Drinking water with high levels of sulfate can cause diarrhea which leads to dehydration.

  • Bitter Taste: Scale deposits in pipes cause a bitter taste.

  • Clogged Pipes: Encourages the growth of slimy, thick iron bacteria that clings to pipes and slows water flow.

Moderate levels of hydrogen sulfide also do not cause serious health issues but can cause other problems, including:

  • Foul odor: Causes rotten egg odor, which can make food and beverages unappetizing.

  • Stain fixtures: Hydrogen sulfide may cause yellow or black stains on fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen

  • Corroded Metal: Wears away metals, especially iron and steel, which can shorten the lifespan of your plumbing.

  • Stain Laundry: Hydrogen sulfide can leave black stains on laundry.

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