Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Removing Odors from Well Water: Is Hydrogen Peroxide Better Than Chlorine?

Hello there -  Our water stains the toilets and sinks brownish red in a week’s time.  The water smells like sulfur and when the well is heavily used in warm weather, it almost seems like I can taste it. I poured chlorine solution down the well and the smell goes away for a while, but the water tastes worse.
I would rather try a hydrogen peroxide treatment instead. We have a slime as well in our toilet tanks and someone told me it was iron bacteria. What do you suggest?

Daren Smith

Hi Darren, 

I agree, hydrogen peroxide would be better than chlorine for eliminating bad odors and treating iron and manganese from well water.  Chlorine bleach is a chemical called sodium hypochlorite, and it adds small amounts of sodium and chlorides into the water, and can leave other chemical residuals.  Peroxide treated water has a better taste and smell to it, and doesn't leave any chemical or salt residues. It breaks down into oxygen and water after it reacts with the contaminants in water.  Peroixide does cost more to use than chlorine bleach, and that is one of the reasons bleach is more popular for home water well treatment.

Hydrogen Peroxide injection combined with a good catalytic carbon backwash filter would remove the odor and eliminate the red deposits.

An effective way to eliminate odors, bacteria and oxidize iron, manganese and other contaminants is by injecting a small amount of  hydrogen peroxide each the well pump turns on.

Each time the well operates, a small amount of chlorine is injected into the water. In the contact tank, bacteria is killed by the extended retention time provided by the tank.

After the contact tank an optional backwash carbon filter removes any residual chlorine or peroxide. The contact tank allows some time for disinfection to occur, so iron and sulfur bacteria are destroyed along with the odor. Many peroxide systems do not use a contact tank, and the reaction occurs right in the catalytic carbon filter tank. However, even though peroxide works faster to destroy bacteria than chlorine, some contact time is needed for disinfection to occur.

An optional micron filter can be used after the carbon filter to finely filter the water.

The result is fresh, clean, disinfected water free of odor throughout the home.