Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Our Well Water is Gray and Smells Like Rotten Eggs

We recently drilled a new well.  The water is gray and smells like rotten eggs.  No iron or manganese was detected.  The water is soft according to our well driller.  Any ideas on how I can treat this? I have a 3000 gallon storage tank I tried spraying the water into, but it is still gray and smelly.  We are looking for a whole house water filtration system that can deal with this.

West Virginia

Hello Peter –

The gray color in the tank is likely from the precipitated sulfur, which can often appear as a yellowish, greenish or gray color.  A complete general mineral analysis is recommended before you make any decisions but the best way to treat this water is by injecting a power oxidant like chlorine, peroxide or ozone gas, and then filtering the water of the sediment that remains.

You can try using chlorine but often the best and lowest cost approach is to inject hydrogen peroxide and then filter with catalytic carbon, and after that, a 25/1 micron dual grade filter.  The peroxide destroys the odors and the filters remove the sulfides and any residual peroxide and odors.  Unlike chlorine, peroxide does not add any dissolved solids, salts or other contaminants.  The peroxide quickly breaks down into oxygen and water.  It works better than chlorine and is much cheaper than a good corona-discharge ozone generator.

After the water is treated with peroxide, an auto backwashing catalytic carbon filter will remove the gray sediment.  This is the best type of whole house water filtration system to use with peroxide.

An optional 5 or 1 micron filter, or in some cases an ultra-filtration (“UF”) membrane is used to remove very fine colloidal particles smaller than 1 micron.


Here is a diagram of a typical installation:

Here are the main components used:


Metering Pump & Tank: 45MHP-10 Stenner Pump with 15 gallon heavy-duty polyethylene solution tank; 

45MHP10 Stenner w/ 15 gal tank 220VPump output 0.5 to 10.0 gallons per day (1.9 to 37.9 liters per day); voltage 115 or 220V; 60 Hz. This is a complete system that comes with everything you need: solution tank; metering pump; tubing; fittings; and injection check valve.


Excellent Warranty: 1 Year on the metering pump


Contact mixing pressure tank 40 gallon

Tank Contact Mixing 40 Gallon 16 x58
Dimensions 16" diameter x 53" height
Gives contact time for allowing soda ash solution to mix in the water.




Carbon 7000-SXT 1.5 CF

Carbon 7000-SXT 1.5 CF
Excellent for use in dechlorinating water and removing many tastes and odors. Unlike carbon cartridges which can trap sediment and dirt causing pressure drop these systems automatically backwash out trapped sediment alleviating pressure drop. Fleck 7000 control provides high flow with very little pressure drop.

Dimensions: 10" diameter x 61" height 1" or ¾" pipe size

Excellent warranty: 10 years on the media tank; 5 years on the control valve.