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Podcast Q&A 4: “I have well water with a sulfur smell; what’s the best product to eliminate this for the whole house?”

Hello, welcome to the Clean Water Made Easy Podcast Q&A. My name is Gerry Bulfin, hope you’re doing good, I’m a WQA-Certified Master Water Specialist & Water Treatment Contractor here in Santa Cruz CA.

Every week on our main podcast, we go deep into various well water treatment systems and water problems, but I also have these quick Q&A episodes to go over quick questions that folks ask us.

Every day we get a lot of phone calls, e-mails and chats on our website so I pick the most interesting one and answer it.

So today, Sam contacted us through the chat on our website and asked:

I have well water, I have a sulfur smell, what’s the best product to eliminate this for the whole house? I was told UV-sterilizer will work because it kills bacteria which creates the sulfur smell.”

Sam, that’s a really good question, we actually have had that question asked quite a few times before as well and I can tell you unequivocally that UV- sterilization is not the way to get rid of hydrogen sulfide smell.

The thinking is that you got the sulfur smell and it is usually from sulfur or iron-related bacteria. So people are thinking well, if I use the UV that will get rid of the bacteria and get rid of the smell. However, it doesn’t really work that way.  What’s happening is that these bacteria that are creating the hydrogen sulfide gas live in the well & in the pipes and they give off this hydrogen sulfide gas so that’s what we have to remove.

It’s a good idea to disinfect the water as well to kill the bacteria but you wouldn’t want to use UV. UV light is very sensitive to the quality of the water.

If the water has any turbidity, meaning if it has any color to it or if it has deposits in it which it will if you’ve got hydrogen sulfide, then it just doesn’t work. However you could use UV as a final stage after you’ve removed the odor, filtered the water, and if your water is hard you might want to have a water softener. Then as a final stage you could use a UV sterilizer to kill the bacteria but it wouldn’t remove the odor.

So, for odor removal we recommend the lowest cost way to go is a chlorinator. You chlorinate the water and then you filter out the chlorine and odor with activated carbon. That is very reliable, and you get disinfected water and the odor is gone. But some people don’t want to mess with the chlorine and if you don’t want to, then you could use aeration where the water is aerated and then filtered with activated carbon.

There’s also ozone gas, that’s the most expensive, and  hardest to deal with, but it does work really well once you got it set-up. It’s great but it’s quite a bit more expensive than chlorination or aeration.

If you have questions about odor in the water, just feel free to give us a call or go to our website: CleanWaterStore.com, chat with us online or you can also if want to personally e-mail me, my email is [email protected]


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