Naturally occurring element sulfur produces a rotten smell in home wells. Water with a sulfur concentration ranging from 0.5-1ppm smells moldy; if the concentration level exceeds 1ppm, a rotten egg smell will generate. Moreover, at this concentration, sulfur can also corrode metal pipes. So, higher concentrations of sulfur in well water are not only harmful to human health but also to your home appliances.
Removing sulfur in well water is not simple; it needs to get oxidized before filtration. Thus, using a common household filter won’t effectively work to remove sulfur. Apart from health concerns, the rotten egg smell coming out of well water due to sulfur is unbearable. This article covers the following intents related to sulfur in drinking water.
- Health Concerns of Drinking Sulfur in Water
- How Sulfur Enters the Well Water?
- How to Fix Well Water That Smells of Sulfur?
- Final Thoughts
Health Concerns of Drinking Sulfur in Water
An optimum amount of sulfur is present in almost all drinking water sources. A low sulfur level in drinking water isn’t hazardous to health, and people can safely consume this water. Below 0.5ppm concentration of sulfur in drinking water is safe and doesn’t produce any musty smell.
Interestingly, people who are used to drinking small amounts of sulfur through water don’t show any adverse effects, while people who never encounter sulfur are sensitive to even small amounts of it. Sulfur-contaminated water can upset the stomach and also causes diarrhea.
Apart from these health concerns, sulfur-contaminated water is also dangerous for well water filtration systems. When bacteria grow in pipes, they clog them and increase the sulfur level to greater extents where corrosion and staining of lines occur.
Besides this, sulfur contamination in water also negatively impact the aesthetics. Higher levels of sulfur in water cause a rotten egg smell and a different taste as well. If you wash clothes in sulfur-contaminated water, the smell can also stick to the clothes.
How Sulfur Enters the Well Water?
Many homeowners in the US struggle with sulfur contaminations. It happens because sulfur can enter your drinking water in many ways.
Bedrock: Groundwater naturally contains sulfates. Bedrocks release sulfur, especially sandstone, and shale is most prone to releasing sulfur in the water supply.
Water Heater: The rod inside your water heater can corrode and release sulfur. Water heaters are used combined with water softeners. The magnesium rod inside these heaters gets affected by softening process. Its erosion leads to the production of hydrogen sulfide.
Bacteria: Various soil-dwelling bacteria feed on sulfates and release hydrogen sulfide. If bacteria live near or inside the well, hydrogen sulfide gas becomes trapped in the water supply and causes sulfur contamination.
Decaying: Hydrogen sulfide is released as a part of the decaying process. Lots of vegetations around well water decay and release this gas, resulting in its mixing with surface water.
Signs of Sulfur in Well Water
- Black staining on laundry
- Rotten egg smells
- Pipe corrosion
- Water heater corrosion
Besides the common and visible signs, you can detect sulfur in well water through well water testing kits. You can use a good and accurate test kit to check the presence of sulfur in your well water. These kits are available online at reasonable prices.
How to Fix Well Water That Smells of Sulfur?
As described earlier, you cannot remove sulfur from water through common water filtration systems because you need to oxidize sulfur first. Thus air injection filters are a good choice for removing sulfur from water. These filters first oxidize and then remove sulfur gas from the system. Here are the options; you can opt for removing sulfur from your well water.
Air injection filters add air pockets into the water supply. These air pockets contain oxygen which oxidizes the sulfur gas from the water. After oxidization, hydrogen sulfide becomes insoluble, and it allows the air injection filter to remove it.
Air injection filters either perform oxidation and filtration in separate tanks, or they may combine both processes into a single unit. Besides removing sulfur, air injection filters also effectively treat the water discoloration, bas taste, and staining caused by iron and manganese.
Chlorine Injection Filters
Sulfur gas can be oxidized when it comes in contact with chlorine. Chlorine is not only used to disinfect water but is also used to remove sulfur from private wells.
The chlorine system injects chlorine utilizing a feed pump with a meter that controls deposits. Some chlorine systems combine well water with chlorine in a devoted tank to increase contact time. Once oxidized, chlorine infusion channels eliminate sulfur with a channel similar to air infusion channels.
If the system utilizes loads of chlorine, it might likewise incorporate an additional carbon filtration stage, which is the best method for eliminating excessive chlorine in your drinking water.
Choose the Best Injection Filter for Your Home
Chlorine injection filters are frequently evaluated to higher levels of sulfur gas, making them a decent choice if your well experiences severe sulfur contamination. Nonetheless, utilizing a chlorine-based injection system means adding synthetic chemicals to your water supply and checking your feed siphon for regular refills.
Keep in mind that chlorine injection filters are a bit noisy, and if installed near your bedroom, they can be problematic for you.
So, for most people, we suggest air injection filters because of their countless benefits over chlorine injection, like they are frequently less expensive than chlorine injection filters. They are appraised to eliminate high degrees of sulfur. The air filter injection system is a tried and tested technology. No additional synthetic compounds or replacement cartridges are required. So, they are easier to handle than chlorine injection filters.
Higher concentrations of sulfur in well water make it smell like rotten eggs. As this smell is unbearable, so if you are facing this issue, you should install air injection filters in your home to eliminate the musty and foul odor of sulfur.