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Hydrogen Sulfide

What does it mean if your water smells like rotten eggs?

If your water smells strongly of rotten eggs, the smell can be likely attributed to the presence of Hydrogen Sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is a chemical compound written by the formula H. S, it is a colorless gas that has a characteristic fetid odor of “rotten eggs”.

Sulfates are a combination of sulfur and oxygen, and they are part of the natural process in nature since the sulfur-reducing bacteria present in groundwater use sulfur as an energy source, chemically changing it from sulfates to hydrogen sulfide.

How does hydrogen sulfide get into the water?

The Hydrogen Sulfide it’s mainly created by the reducing bacteria, which use sulfur as an energy source in oxygen-deficient atmospheres, they are the primary generators of large amounts of hydrogen sulfide. Through these bacterias, the hydrogen sulfide is naturally produced in the groundwater because of the process of decomposing underground deposits of organic matter, such as decomposing plant matter. It can be found in deep or shallow wells drilled in rocks, sandstone, or near coal or peat deposits or oil fields. They can also be present in plumbing systems and sewage pollution.

Is it safe to shower in water that smells like sulfur?

These bacteria that form the hydrogen sulfide can grow on the hot waterside of a water distribution system, reactions caused by the magnesium rod and aluminum in the water heater produce hydrogen sulfide gas. You will notice that event when you start to smell an offensive “rotten egg” or “sulfur water” odor and taste in your water. In some cases, the odor may be noticeable only when the water is initially turned on or when hot water is running.This happens because the gas is forced into the air, which may cause the odor too much stronger in a shower.

Usually, it is not a health risk at concentrations present in household water, so it is safe to shower in it, but, the buildup of hydrogen sulfide concentrations in confined areas has been known to cause adverse health effects.
When showering with it, it may give you a slight scent of sulfur and some people can get the skin irritated by it.

Can you drink water that smells like sulfur?

Yes, but, the sulfate may have a laxative effect that can lead to dehydration and is of special concern for infants. With time, most individuals will become acclimated to the sulfate and the symptoms disappear. The hydrogen sulfide gas is flammable and poisonous at high concentrations only, but it is corrosive and can leach metals such as iron, steel, copper, and brass from plumbing systems into the water, this corrosion of elements forms a black precipitate that can:

– Stain laundry and bathroom accessories
– Darken silverware
– Discolor copper and brass utensils
– It can also make it difficult for you to clean your clothes

How do you remove hydrogen sulfide from water?

  • Methods to reduce or remove hydrogen sulfide include:
  • activated carbon filtration,
  • distillation
  • reverse osmosis
  • shock chlorination,
  • ion exchange,
  • manganese greensand filtration,
  • oxidation,
  • oxidizing filtration,
  • ozone treatment,
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