If your well water smells like rotten-eggs, you are not alone. Well water odor is a common problem and many homeowners battle stinky well water. Rotten-egg water not only has an objectionable odor, but in high concentrations may be dangerous to your health, and is corrosive to plumbing, fixtures and appliances.
Water containing hydrogen sulfide gas (“H2S”), has a unique “rotten egg” odor, which is often present in both hot and cold, but may become more pronounced from the hot water. This kind of water can discolor coffee, tea and other beverages, and alter the appearance as well as taste of cooked food.
Water containing H2S can corrode piping materials, such as copper, brass, steel and iron as well as exposed metallic components inside dishwashers and appliances tarnishing the surfaces a black color. Hydrogen sulfide can also quickly foul and ruin water softeners and filter systems.
Aeration and/or chlorine treatment utilizing common household laundry bleach has been the most common method in the past to take care of smells from well water. Chlorine however has some undesirable by-products and can leave chlorine tastes and odors. If the pH of the water is over 7.5 chlorine is not very effective and a large amount of chlorine must be used. Aeration can work, but if iron and/or sulfur bacteria are present, the bacteria can re-create the odors after the aeration system, in water heaters and plumbing systems.
Why Hydrogen Peroxide is Better:
1. Works faster than chlorine, so often no contact tank is required
2. Unlike chlorine will not leave a chemical residual in the water
3. Peroxide works over a wider pH range
4. Hydrogen peroxide rapidly disinfects water, killing bacteria and viruses, unlike aeration alone
Like chlorine, hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizer and can quickly kill bacteria and eliminate the odors. Unlike chlorine however, hydrogen peroxide leaves behind no trace of chemical by-products. Whenever hydrogen peroxide is put into water a large amount of dissolved oxygen is released and a strong oxidizing effect takes place. Odors are eliminated, microorganisms are destroyed, and tannins can be oxidized.
Hydrogen peroxide converts hydrogen sulfide gas, and any iron or manganese present to a solid particle which is then removed by a back-washing self-cleaning carbon filtration system. For many applications no retention tank is needed, and any residual hydrogen peroxide will be effectively removed by the carbon filter. If the rotten-egg odors are extremely excessive, or if coliform bacteria are present, a contact tank is recommended, which allows a few minutes of time for the peroxide to contact with the water, to make sure the water is disinfected.
The actual treatment procedure is simple. A metering pump automatically inserts a tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide in front of the pressure tank, whenever the well pump turns on. The back-washing carbon filter system is installed after the pressure tank and filters the water. The result is clean, disinfected, and odor-free water through out the home.
Flow Sensor Systems Allow Peroxide Systems to Be Installed After Well
In some cases, its not practical to install the peroxide injection point near the well, or perhaps you are on a shared community well, and you prefer to have the system right where the water enters the home. In this case, a flow-based system can be used. This type of system uses a flow meter to control the peroxide injection pump. As soon as there is flow, the peroxide pump injects a small amount of hydrogen peroxide based on how fast the water is flowing through the pipe. Proportionally fed hydrogen peroxide products offer owners a convenient way to inject hydrogen peroxide as the water enters the household plumbing system and are very easy to set up and maintain.