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Sulfur Smell in water

Pictured: Treated vs. untreated water
Pictured: Treated vs. untreated water

One reader recently wrote to us to ask how to remove the sulfur odor and yellow color from his water. Test results had shown his water to be acidic and full of minerals, as well.

Unfortunately, completely purifying water such as this is not possible with just one water treatment system. However, such water can be treated by a few systems working in conjunction; for best results, these systems should include a neutralizer, iron filter, carbon filter, and chlorinator.

If you’ve experienced similar problems with your water, read on for the rest of our reply:

For your application we recommend a chlorinator, contact tank, neutralizer, MangOX iron filter, and a carbon filter. These systems require little maintenance: there are no filters to change, and you’ll only need to add a gallon of chlorine bleach to the solution tank every 1-3 months.

We do recommend you perform a water analysis first, to determine what is causing the yellow color and sulfur odors in your water. It sounds like you have hydrogen sulfide, iron, and manganese in your water. The systems listed above will produce clean, iron-free and odor-free water without affecting your water’s hardness, though a softener can be added if you so choose.

Here is more information on these systems:

Chlorination and the Stenner Pump Chlorinator System

Chlorine is a low cost and safe method of eliminating odors and bacteria, and it works great in oxidizing iron, manganese and other contaminants in water so they can be filtered out.

Although there are other ways to eliminate microorganisms and odors in water, chlorination is the most commonly used because it is low cost and effective.

The chlorinator can be adjusted so that chlorine levels are very low in the household (similar to city water) or a low-cost carbon filter can be installed to remove any trace of chlorine tastes and odors.

Contact Tank

40 Gallon Contact Tank
40 Gallon Contact Tank

A contact tank provides optimal contact time after chlorine, soda ash, peroxide, or other water-treatment-grade chemicals have been injected into the water. By using a contact tank, you’ll reduce the amount of solution need and ensure that the solution being injected is thoroughly mixed and dissolved in the water.

Our WellMate Contact Tanks are made of a seamless inner shell of molded polyethylene for impact and corrosion resistance. The tanks are high quality NSF/ANSI 61 certified tanks for drinking water. Inlet and outlet connections are 1-1/4” but can be reduced to 1” or ¾” if needed.

Calcite Neutralizer

5900-neutralizerA calcite neutralizer filter will neutralize the low pH (acid water) and help eliminate the corrosive effects of the water. The neutralizer filter comes with everything you need including the calcite and corosex media and simple instructions. Any plumber or person familiar with basic plumbing can install them.

Unlike older style neutralizers, our neutralizers use Vortech neutralizer tanks which have an advanced internal screen that eliminates the need for a gravel base and reduces the amount of water used for backwashing by 30%. A quick once-per-week backwash for 8 to 10 minutes is all it takes to keep the calcite media in good shape.

These neutralizers require little maintenance and are very easy to use. Once a year, just add more calcite to the neutralizer tank through the top-fill plug. Most customers use 25 to 50 lbs. a year at a cost of approximately $50 per year.

PRo-OX Iron Filter

The Pro-OX Iron Filter is a powerful and effective system for removing iron and manganese from well water. This system automatically removes iron, manganese, and sediment without the use of filter cartridges or chemicals. The iron filter is easy to install by any plumber or person familiar with basic plumbing.

The Pro OX Iron Filter removes both dissolved and oxidized iron and manganese by using a special type of solid manganese oxide media which traps the iron and then automatically backwashes out the trapped rust and sediment to drain.

The backwash lasts for approximately 15 minutes and takes place automatically, typically every 2 – 3 days, in the middle of the night when no water is being used.

If you install a chlorinator as described above, you can backwash the Pro-OX filter media with a chlorine rinse, which will kill iron bacteria and can extend the life of the Pro-OX media for many years.

For waters containing “rotten egg odors” (hydrogen sulfide), a chlorine feed ahead of the Pro-OX filter can be used to kill the odor and keep the Pro-OX media working great. And unlike other media which may last only 3-5 years, Pro-OX media will last you for more than 10 years!

Carbon Backwash Filter Systems

Our Carbon Backwash Filter Systems remove chlorine, tastes, and odors at exceptionally high flow rates with little or no pressure drop. Unlike expensive carbon filter cartridges, the Carbon Backwash Filter Systems use a bed of high grade activated to carbon to filter out chlorine, chemicals and sediment.

These systems automatically backwash and rinse clean the carbon media inside; there is no need to change short-lived filter cartridges and no problems with pressure drop from clogged filters. The carbon media typically lasts for 3 – 5 years and is easy to dump out and change.

Finally, here is an illustration of a typical installation of these systems:

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

We’re confident these systems will help you solve your water problems, and we hope you’ll keep us updated on your system and water quality. If you have any further questions you can e-mail us at [email protected], leave a comment on our Facebook, or use our online contact form. Thanks for the letter!

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  • Clean Water Systems & Stores, Inc., Water Treatment Equipment,Service & Supplies, Santa Cruz, CA

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