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Removing Sulfur Odor From Water

by Mark Timmons July 14, 2010 6 Comments

Mike wrote:

We drilled a new well that has both coliform bacteria and high levels of hydrogen sulfide. I have been looking to install a chlorine feeding pump, retention tank and carbon filter. We have used this system in the past at our old house with mixed results. The hydrogen peroxide system looks interesting. Will this system also kill the coliform bacteria and any other bacteria that may be in the water?

US Water Response: Chlorine is a better sanitizer, in that it kills bacteria better, but hydrogen sulfide needs to be oxidized to be removed and chlorine is not a good oxidizer for high levels of hydrogen sulfide. To remove hydrogen sulfide, you would want to use an OXi-GEN system. In many cases, higher levels of hydrogen sulfide (also call hydrogen sulphide) can be removed with a Filox system, which requires no chemicals, just backwashing. In extreme cases, chlorine has to be injected during the backwash cycle to help clean the media. Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) is a dramatically better oxidizer, which is what you need to eradicate sulfur. Most likely, if you have high sulfur and bacteria, the chlorine might kill the bacteria, but it won't get rid of all the sulfur. Hydrogen peroxide ALWAYS gets rid of ALL the sulfur and there are no carcinogenic disinfection byproducts with H2O2, like with chlorine (THM's). So, what to do about the bacteria? You can use the peroxide system for the sulfur, and follow with an ultraviolet light after the Oxi system, and softener, if you have one. UV is a much better sanitizer than chlorine, and kills bacteria as well as cysts.

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January 14, 2018 Tricia E Morgan

Im so upset. All I do is spend money on hydrogen peroxide. It killing me. A water company put the system in. Spent $3000 on that system with water softner. My house smelled so bad of rotten eggs. Guess what. We cant even drink the water. Its awful!! So they tell me ..oh you need a osmosis system for that. Omg im broke now Isnt there another answer?? And the peroxide isnt cheap either

January 14, 2018 Mark Timmons

I have a number of questions that you will need to answer before I can answer yours: 1. How much sulfur do you have in ppm? 2. How many bathrooms? 3. How many in your family? 4. Does the water still smell? 5. How many gallons of peroxide do you use a month? 6. Do you know if you have iron or manganese? 7. Where is the peroxide injected?

November 04, 2022 Antonio

You can air the water. The air is free.

November 12, 2022 Mark Timmons

Yes, you can, but whether it works or not is another issue. A detailed Laboratory Analysis is paramount if you want to solve the problem. On the other hand, if you just want to use air and don’t care if it works….

December 16, 2022 Julien Fiola

I have a well and my hot water smells rotten eggs. Would UV filtration help?

December 19, 2022 Mark Timmons

UV Could kill the sulfur-reducing bacteria for a short time, but then the bulb would blind over, and it would not work. UV could be a part of a successful treatment system, but not by itself. Sulfur (rotten-egg small) must be oxidized!

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