How to Fix Water That Smells Like Rotten Eggs

JodyBuchanan

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Here's a story about when I used to live in Ulster County New York. After moving into a new house (for me), I realized that we had water that smelled like fart, or eggs. I had to buy a special filter to fix the problem. To learn all about it, please read below.

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I happen to live in a very beautiful area of New York. The Shawangunk Ridge is absolutely spectacular and visiting the Mohonk Preserve has become a favorite activity. Unfortunately, it seems that the western side of the Hudson River has water that smells like rotten eggs. I know there are towns on the eastern side that have this problem, but I know of more over here.

We moved in to this house on the hottest day of 2005. I am not exaggerating. It was honestly the hottest day. I remember it well. We unpacked half the truck and I was sweating bullets. I stopped because I was out of breath. I asked anyone if they would like a glass of water, they accepted and I walked in the house to get some out of the faucet. I filled three glasses and walked back outside and handed my friends the glasses. We put them to our lips at the same time…and all at once we said…”Eeewwww, rotten eggs!” Boy, what a delight! We had sulphur in our water!

As with any problem I am confronted with, I immediately say that I can fix it and then my mind starts to go. I thought of the biggest and the best carbon filter I would get. After I put that baby in, there would be no more smell. Well, my friend Craig tried that up in Oneonta, NY, to no avail. My father also tried that in Wilmington, NC and he is always changing the filters. If that doesn’t work, what was I supposed to do?

We lived with the smell in the water for about a week. We weren’t too far past the closing on the house, so I wasn’t thrilled with dropping a bunch of additional money. I asked around at work and got a nice wide variety of answers. No one seemed to know what they were talking about. Things were getting worse because when we got out of the shower, the smell would follow you until you completely dried. This had to change FAST!

The next day I got on the phone with a few water purification companies that I found in the yellow pages. Most of them said that there was iron in the water. I said, “No, you must be mistaken, I have Sulphur in the water.” They said, “Yes, but Sulphur is created by Iron.” What? Well, apparently, they were correct. The way it works is this: Water with small traces of iron enter the house through the well. Then, the water sits in the hot water heater. Somehow, the heat changes the iron in the water to sulphur and then, whalla, stinky sulphur water! I am not too sure of how this works. My friend Paul wrote a much more informative entry in his blog about water treatment.

The answer to my problem was to get a Whole House Iron Filter – a Manganese Greensand Filter. I was talking with my neighbor about this problem and he recommended a local water guy to do the job. He said he was the most reasonably priced in the area and new what I needed. I gave this fellow a call and he came out and tested my water. He said, “Yep, your water isn’t hard, but you do have iron in it.” I said, will the filter you install get out 100% and make every thing perfect?” he said, “No, but about 95% will be taken out and you won’t have the smell anymore.” That sounded good to me. My only concern at this point was how much I was going to have to give this guy to fix my problem. I had to have him install it because I didn’t know the first thing about it, didn’t know where to get the filter and had no way to get it to my house. He told me it would cost $1100, said and done. I told him that was fine, just get over here and do it ASAP. The picture below is the actual filter he installed.

greensand_filter_1.jpg

The water guy told me that this filter was one of the best on the market. No shortcuts were taken and it would last for about 20 years.

greensand_filter_2.jpg

He did a great job installing the filter. The soldering of the copper pipes looked good and he ran the backwash line to the septic pipe in the basement so it wouldn’t make a mess outside when it backwashed the greensand with the Potassium – water mixture. It does this about every 4 days at 2AM.

greensand_filter_3.jpg

greensand_filter_4.jpg

He also flushed out my electric hot water heater and put some bleach in there to kill any bacteria. He told me to put about 2 cups of bleach in our well every year. I have done this and it’s amazing how good the water smells after I do it. I am happy to say that ever since this very maintenance free water filter was installed, my rotten egg smell has just about disappeared!
 

EmeraldHike

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Well it looks like that worked well. That was a tough plumbing problem. I don't think you should put bleach in your well. That sounds not so good to me.
 

JodyBuchanan

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Well it looks like that worked well. That was a tough plumbing problem. I don't think you should put bleach in your well. That sounds not so good to me.
Actually, I have had quite a few people recommend that I put bleach in the well every so often, like twice a year. This keeps any bacteria to a minimum and also helps out the greensand filter, water heater and piping throughout the house.
 
How to Fix Water That Smells Like Rotten Eggs was posted on 09-23-2021 by JodyBuchanan in the Home Forum forum.

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