Water is very essential to the survival of plants, animals, and even humans. It is however unpleasant to drink or use when it has an odor or taste. The unclean liquid not only causes damage to the health but also to clothes and equipment in the home.
Water is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless liquid. A foul-smelling supply means that it is contaminated and this is very risky to the health. Filters can be used to eliminate harmful contaminants and to make them safe for drinking.
Most rotten egg smell is often caused by hydrogen sulfide. Although it is more common in well water, it can also be found in other sources. Low-level exposure causes shortness of breath, nausea, sore throat, cough, and eye irritation. On the other hand exposure over a long period of time leads to loss of appetite, poor memory, headache, dizziness, and fatigue.
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Reasons Why Water May Smell Like Rotten Eggs
There are many causes why it can have a foul smell, it could be from the supply or the heater. This can also give it a different color. Some other reasons are.
Some suppliers add several chemicals to guarantee the supply is safe. Some of these chemicals are aluminum sulfate, fluorosilicic acid, sodium silicofluoride, liquefied chlorine, and calcium hydroxide. They may contribute to producing a strange smell.
Sulfur and Iron bacteria are often present in groundwater and it normally uses sulfur that is available in rocks, soil or dying plants to grow in an iron-rich setting. Some bacteria can also be found in environments lacking oxygen like plumbing systems and deep wells. Even though they are not harmful to health, they have terrible taste and odor.
Wells are more likely to contain hydrogen sulfide gas especially those drilled in sandstone, oil fields, or shale. Also, due to decay and chemical reactions in rocks or soil, odors are more likely to naturally occur. Pollution although rare can easily occur in groundwater also.
This mineral causes a laxative effect when the liquid is drunk. This natural mineral can easily be identified through laboratory analysis or with a test kit. Although it has no odor, high levels of an unpurified supply can cause hydrogen sulfide. The sulfur bacteria create slime which clogs plumbing, irrigation systems, wells, and supports the growth of other bacteria.
How to Identify Contaminated Water
The importance of water in our daily lives cannot be overemphasized as we require this clear liquid in executing several tasks. Contaminated supplies have a severe negative impact on our lives and communities that is why it is vital to identify the level of safety before consuming it.
Tarnished or Rusted Silverware
Although the supply sometimes appears clean, it may contain iron and when exposed to air tends to rust. When this appears on the silverware, it means that there is an excess amount of iron in the supply.
A split in the main supply line can allow small particles to pass through into filtered supply and with the soil around the pipe being contaminated, this poses a serious health risk. Therefore, when there is a noticeable particle, it means a broken pipe.
Sulfur or Chlorine Smell
Chlorine is often added to water in small quantities to kill bacteria but may be a bit too much at times. Sulfur however is naturally found in the ground and small amounts tend to enter the supply. High levels of these components lead to severe health issues and should be treated seriously.
Metallic or Bitter Taste
One of the characteristics of water is tastelessness, if it contains any type of taste then it likely contains harmful substances and is unsafe for consumption.
Steps to Fix a Smelly Water Problem
Perceiving a foul odor from the faucets can leave one at a loss of what to do. These steps will guide you in taking the right decision when there is an unpleasant smell or taste from the tap.
Find the Source
The first approach should be to identify the source of the unusual smell so as to choose the appropriate treatment option. This is done by smelling the water coming out of the cold and hot water faucets separately to discover which of them has the rotten egg odor. If it is from the cold side, the next step is to check the supply.
Change the Magnesium Anode
This is necessary when the rotten egg smell is from the hot faucet. Such problems are usually caused by the heater and require replacement. Ensure that this is done by a professional in line with the recommendations of the manufacturer.. However, if you want to handle the procedure by yourself, you can read articles or watch videos explaining how to change your heater’s anode rod for assistance.
Use Chlorine Bleach Solution
This is an alternative when the problem is from the hot faucet. Using chlorine kills sulfur bacteria and this is vital to prevent this from reoccurring. This solution can also be used to flush and disinfect the heater thereby eradicating the odor.
Increase Heater Temperature
Increasing the temperature of the heater to 160 degrees Fahrenheit will also kill the sulfur bacteria but this is dangerous and can incur high energy costs. It is advisable to explore other recommendations.
Test Your Water
In some cases, the foul smell can be a result of pollution or sewage, especially in well water. It is therefore imperative to test for nitrate and coliform bacteria. Test kits can equally be used to check the levels of sulfur or iron bacteria, sulfate, and hydrogen sulfide.
The importance of drinking clean water cannot be overstated. If you need to see some of these benefits, you can read this article.
Although several chemicals are present in drinking water, hydrogen sulfide gas is the major cause of the smell which is very unhealthy for consumption. The gas can also cause harm to the plumbing, silverware, and other metals. If the smell is present only when the hot supply is in use, this means the problem is from the heater and not from the supply source. Identifying the source of the problem and eliminating it is vital but precaution must be taken at all times.