One common problem we hear about is when there are odors in the water from some but not all of the fixtures in the house. For example, the upstairs bathroom shower has a bad odor, but the downstairs kitchen or bath have no odor. This can be caused by bio-films of iron and/or sulfur bacteria forming in certain sections of the home plumbing that is not used as much as other sections.
Some wells have high levels of these bacteria which metabolize sulfates in the water and produce hydrogen sulfide gas, which give the water the terrible ‘rotten-egg’ odor.
First, by shock chlorinating the well, you can reduce and/or eliminate the activity of the bacteria in the short run. However, these bacteria live in pipes inside a bio-film, which is a microscopic gelatinous coating, in which they live in and multiply. Some pipes in the home that are not used as much as others, will allow these bio-films to occur and then the odors come back.
How can you tell if you have iron bacteria you may wonder? One way is by using an iron bacteria test kit and actually testing for it. The other way is by looking in your toilet flush tank!
Simply remove the lid on the toilet tank and look inside. If you see slime, or stringy material growing out from the sides, or if you see bubbles or froth on the top of the water in the tank, this is a sign of iron or sulfur bacteria.
Besides iron bacteria, your toilet tanks can tell you if you have copper corrosion (blue water) or sediment or other contaminants in the water:
For bacterial problems, we recommend a series of chlorine shocks of the piping, once a month for several months. Eventually this will eliminate the problem. If you find it won’t go away, you can also install a disinfection system using chlorination or UV light to destroy the bacteria as they enter the home from the well.
Also perform an inspection of your water heater by draining the water heater and removing and inspecting the anode rod. If the anode rod is worn or severely corroded replace it with an aluminum-zinc type, which may help reduce the odor problem from the water heater.
We hope this information helps you solve your problems, if you have any further questions, or would like to update us on your progress – we love pictures and testimonials! – you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook, happy flushing!