Why Does My Water Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

The only thing you should smell in your shower is luxurious body soap—not rotten eggs!

Broken egg in a sink

Luckily, there are things you can do to resolve the problem!

So, you’re trying to take a nice relaxing shower, when you’re hit with water that smells like rotten eggs. It’s one of the biggest complaints our customers have when it comes to problems with water.

Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to get rid of this smell!

Keep reading to learn:

  • Why does your water smells like rotten eggs
  • The potential issues and risks associated with rotten egg smell
  • How to get rid of the sulfur smell in water
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What Causes Water to Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

When water smells like rotten eggs or “sulfur water,” it’s most likely being caused by hydrogen sulfide gas. This gas is naturally occurring and can be found in groundwater and oxygen-deprived areas such as manholes and sewers.

Hydrogen sulfide is created by sulfur-reducing bacteria in groundwater that chemically changes sulfates into gas. Sulfates, a blend of oxygen and sulfur, are minerals in soil and rocks. These minerals dissolve over time and are released into the groundwater.

Let’s take a closer look at how hydrogen sulfide gets in your water!

Hydrogen Sulfide in Well Water

Hydrogen sulfide appears in wells because it thrives in that type of environment. Wells have limited oxygen, so bacteria are allowed to feed on the qualifier or casing. Sometimes, decomposing plant matter creates hydrogen sulfide that accumulates in wells, too.

Hydrogen Sulfide in Water Heaters

Water heaters can be a source of rotten egg smell in the water, too. The magnesium rod (also known as an anode rod and mag rod) can break down and cause odors in soft water. Usually, the smell is strongest when it is hot water due to the heat forcing the gas into the air.

What are the Potential Problems Caused by Rotten Egg Smell?

Although your water may smell and taste horrible, it’s generally safe to consume. This is because there’s usually never high concentrations in the water. It will taste so bad that you wouldn’t want to drink it anyway!

High amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas in the air, although very uncommon, can be hazardous to your health. If the gases are released in a small area, they can cause nausea.

These are other problems that can occur if hydrogen sulfide is in your water.

  • Change of color in your drinks
  • Taste of foods cooked in the water
  • Corrosion on pipes and metal components of water distribution system
  • Black stains on silverware and plumbing fixtures

So, when water smells like sulfur, it may not harm your health, but it could end up being a very costly and annoying problem.

Graphic illustrating the reasons why water smells like rotten eggs


How Do I Get Rid of Rotten Egg Smell in Water?

There are a few different ways to fix well water that smells like rotten eggs. It’s best to get your water tested in any situation and contact a trained inspector to see how it can be fixed. The particular water treatment plan you need will depend on where the hydrogen sulfide is coming from. You will first need to find the source of the hydrogen sulfide gas.

Repair Your Water Well

Well water can usually be contaminated with surface water seeping in. If you use a well to get your water, you may want to consider repairing or renovating your well so that surface water stays out. You may also need to disinfect your well and invest in a specialty filter to get rid of the rotten egg smell for good.

Check Your Water Heater

If your hot water smells like rotten eggs, it is likely because of stagnant water within your water heater. One of the first things you can do is to drain and flush your tank. If that doesn’t work, you may need to have your water tested by a professional.

You can also try having a licensed professional replace the water heater’s magnesium rod with one made of aluminum or another metal to improve the situation.

Invest in a Chlorine Injection System

Many municipalities chlorinate their water supply to remove bacteria. It turns out, you can also chlorinate your water at home to eliminate sulfur bacteria that causes the rotten egg smell. Chlorine disrupts the cell membranes of the contaminants, getting rid of the smell. Chlorine injectors take this process one step further by running the water through a carbon filter. These filters take out excess chlorine so harmful levels of it aren’t let in the water.


Need More Assistance?

We understand if you don’t want to drink or bathe in foul-smelling water. And you shouldn’t have to! Our filtration systems are the best way to rid your water of that uninviting smell. 

If you need help with the rotten egg smell in your water, our licensed experts can assist you. At Angel Water, we offer water testing and a full range of water filtration systems for residential and commercial use. We are committed to a product of the highest quality that is best for your family, the environment, and your peace of mind.

Tell Us How We Can Help!

Please call us today at 847-382-7800 or fill out the form below to talk to an expert. We have locations in Barrington, IL, St. Charles, IL, and West Palm Beach, FL. We provide services throughout the Chicagoland and Florida region.

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