Have you ever raised a seemingly clean, refreshing glass of water to your lips only to be slapped across the face with what can only be described as the pungent fragrance of rotten eggs? What does that smell mean and can you safely consume that water? The mystery of the rotten egg smell is a mystery no longer! Keep reading to find the answers to all your questions concerning this smelly phenomenon and so much more.
What is it?
The first thing you should always keep in mind is that tap water across the United States contains 316 different chemicals. Most are harmless, but a strange odor can be common. The rotten egg smell is actually a result of a gas called hydrogen sulfide in water. This is a combination of sulfur and oxygen which are both naturally occurring minerals.
Can I drink it?
Although the smell may cause a wrinkle of the nose, it actually has few other side effects and may be consumed safely. In rare cases, high levels of hydrogen sulfide can cause a laxative effect as well as dehydration.
Should I be concerned?
As we previously stated, small amounts of hydrogen sulfide in water is harmless. However, if you have noticed this smell inside your home, you might want to take action. Hydrogen sulfide can cause corrosion of certain types of pipes and could also leave dark marks on your silverware. If the smell is stronger and smells more strongly of sulfur, it may be worth investigating further to get a complete picture through a water chemical analysis. It’s rare, but there could be a bigger problem like sewage or other contaminants in your building’s water supply.
How do I remove the smell?
Although the smell isn’t harmful, it is far from pleasant. If you would like to fix the issue, go straight to the source. There are many different companies that can provide you with a simple test. Simply send in a sample of your water and they will provide you with the results. Depending on what the results yield, you may want to conduct a little home inspection. Bacteria that thrive in oxygen deprived areas such as water heaters, plumbing systems, and water softeners can tend to exacerbate the smell. It’s best to keep these areas as clean as possible. Here is one way to keep your water heater bacteria-free:
- First, turn off the system and drain the tank.
- Now, allow the tank to refill but make sure to turn the temperature up to 140 F at the very least.
- Allow this to run anywhere between 6 to 10 hours.
- When the allotted time is up, turn the temperature setting back to normal and drain the tank once more.
- Allow it to refill and note if the smell has changed at all.
If that still doesn’t seem to do the trick, it may be time to install a whole-house treatment system. Although quite pricey, this will undoubtedly solve your problem.
If you aren’t wanting to spend a pretty penny to get rid of the problem, we’re here for you! We can provide you with water for both your home and your business, in addition to offering a variety of vitamin waters and other assorted accoutrements.