Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How to Eliminate Rotten Egg Odors Without Chlorine

Today's blog post isn't a reply to a reader letter, but a brief overview of aeration as a treatment for odorous well water. If you have experienced "rotten egg" odors, but are wary of adding chemicals to your water, read on:

Odors in well water are commonly caused by iron and sulfur bacteria. These bacteria thrive on iron and sulfur and create sludgy, foul-smelling waste byproducts like methane and hydrogen sulfide gas.

Stenner Metering Pump
and Solution Tank

Chlorination is the most common method of eliminating these bacteria, even in large-scale operations like municipal treatment centers. Using a Stenner metering pump will allow you to control the amount of chlorine injected into your water so that there are no lingering chlorine tastes or odors, however, installing a carbon filter after your chlorinator is recommended to remove iron and sulfur particles oxidized by the chlorine.

Air Charger Sulfur 
Filter 2510-AIO
You can also treat odors in your water without the use of chemicals with an aerator such as a Maxi-Vent air compressor or an air charger iron or sulfur filter. These systems work by aerating water to oxidize hydrogen sulfide gas for easy filtration. The Maxi-Vent compressors should be paired with an iron or sulfur filter, while the air chargers will both oxidize and filter hydrogen sulfide gas. A sulfur filter is recommended if your water contains hydrogen sulfide gas, but no iron. Note that neither an iron or sulfur filter will eliminate the odor-causing bacteria, and so periodic shock chlorination may still be necessary to remove byproducts like biofilm from your pipes.

While chlorination is the more effective method of treating odors since it addresses the problem at its root, aeration systems may be preferable for buyers who would rather not use chemicals to treat their water, or for water that is only mildly affected by bacteria and odors. 

For more information on aeration, chlorination, odors, bacteria, and more, consult our resources page; to see our selection of odor-removing treatment systems, visit our online store.

You can send any questions or comments you may have to, our Facebook page, or our online contact form. Thanks for reading!