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Smelly well water
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jj    Posted 10-07-2001 at 20:04:58       [Reply]  [Send Email]
about a year ago our water started to have a strong sulfer smell. The well has not went dry at all and its about 100 ft down and a 2" well. We still get the same flow we always had. A friend of mine said that there is some bacteria that lives in the bottom of a well and breaks down the water and causes the sulfer smell. He suggested to pour 3or 4 gallons of bleach down the well casing and that would kill the bacteria. Has anyone done this or know of someone who has and if so does it work?

Mark    Posted 06-05-2004 at 22:22:49       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Where can I buy a 300 gallon areator tank for my well system???

Mark    Posted 06-05-2004 at 22:22:49       [Reply]  [No Email]

roger    Posted 12-25-2005 at 15:11:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have a SULPHER smell in a 22 foot dug well.
I find it only in the hot water side.I have ariated the well and found the smell to go away, but cmes back in a couple of weeks.
I also might might remove the anode from my hot water tank.
I was thinking of putting a seperate pump at my well with a timer and recirculating the well fo 30 minutes a day and see if that helps.
The smell only seems to come in the wet weather.

Any other ideas would be appreciated as it is a good producing well and would hate to give it up.

mike    Posted 10-08-2001 at 18:03:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
A water heater can cause that same rotten smell.
If it just started I would chech the rod in the
heater.Our water well system uses a charcoal
backwash system to remove the odor.

jj    Posted 10-09-2001 at 07:28:39       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We did get a new water heater from sears 3 or 4 mounths before the smell started. Also the water heater has kicked out some hot water from the pressure valve(?), why I don't know.

Franz    Posted 10-09-2001 at 17:41:28       [Reply]  [Send Email]
BINGO!! The water heater is the answer. If you run off a jar of hot water and let it set, you'll see a bunch of black flakey crap settle out in the jar.
The cause is the Magnesium scarificial anode in the water heater, reacting with your water. It takes a month or so for this problem to develope with a new water heater.
Remove the sacrificial anode, and flush the water heater a couple times, and the problem will go away. The anode will look like a pipe plug in the top of the heater.

Marie    Posted 09-17-2002 at 03:42:39       [Reply]  [Send Email]
So tell me, did you do any of this? Has anything worked? We have a new hot water heater (1 mo.) and softner (5 mo.)and the smell has just started and its bad.

Tim    Posted 10-02-2002 at 07:53:10       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We have been having this same problem with our hot water. Thanks for the info Franz!!! I plan to remove that anode tonight!

Marie    Posted 10-02-2002 at 14:05:18       [Reply]  [Send Email]
My husband removed the anode and boy what a difference. Thanks so much.

Katie    Posted 05-20-2003 at 06:36:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Was it hard to remove the anode? And is it still working for the smell?

Many people living around us have been spending over $1300 to have water treatments in their house and I just don't want to do that (we are getting city water in 4 years)

mike    Posted 10-09-2001 at 16:59:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
I would also chech the temp. setting on the
heater elements in the heater.The bigger units
have 2 doors to remove to set the temperature.
Some are set very hot from the factory,hot enough
to burn a small child.We turn ours back to around
90 degrees.

mike    Posted 10-09-2001 at 16:55:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
The rod in the water heater can be removed and
the rod part cut off,then screw the nut back
into the heater.Most plumbers remove them
around here when installing.

All this bleach? Won't it kill bacteria in septic? (ShepFL)    Posted 10-08-2001 at 13:26:48       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I know folks who have "sulfer" water and the run an aerator. My sinks and toilets dump into my septic system. Grey water from washer runs out to garden area.

Since I was a kid was told NO BLEACH in the toilets etc. because it will stop the bacterial action in the septic. Taught my famity the same. Is this true or y'all don't use septic tanks? Just curious.

Dale (MI)    Posted 10-10-2001 at 09:29:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
It would take a lot of bleach to kill off your septic tank. We used to use lots of chlorine in the dairy barn and did not see a problem. I also throw in some additional bacteria like RID-X once and a while to help break down the waste.

Hogman    Posted 10-08-2001 at 19:36:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
Shep You are keerect about killin tha good bacteria,Them little buggers don't like hot water or bleach atall.
Another thing on septics, all these so called magic pills and solutions are a bunch of crap.
At best They do nothing and at worst They kill the good bugs.

In My humble opinion the worst thing the unknowing housewife does is use a dadblasted garbage disposal.
The stupid a$$hole that invented that contraption should have been shot. It raises cain with treatment be it septic or multi million gallon per day treatment plant.
But, few people have the opertunity to enter sewers or tha innards of treatment plants. Never thought it a pleasing thing yet is mighty educational and every yuppie livin in tha city or out should have ta take tha tour......

Danny in CO    Posted 10-08-2001 at 12:57:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]

About every 2 years I put bleach in our well when we plan to be gone for the weekend. After dumping in the bleach, I wait about an hour, then turn on the tap the fartherest from the pump until I smell chlorine.

When I get back at the end of the weekend, I'll runn all the faucets until I no longer smell the chlorine.

So far, so good!

Mudcat49    Posted 10-08-2001 at 12:46:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
The sulfer that is causing your smell is a gasous sulfer, You need to put a airatior on your system and have a clorine pump on it.

Spence - No big Deal    Posted 10-08-2001 at 11:22:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have it too, been drinking it for 25 years.

Actually, the cause of the sulpher has more to do with pre-cambrian sulpher deposits made by ancient volcanos than by bacteria. Although I'm not excluding the bacteria possibility for isolated cases.

Sulpher in this area seems to depend on what
area of the county you live in, rather a localized
well containing bacteria. So bacteria contamination in these parts doesn't make sense.

Sometimes the sulpher will get stronger depending how deep the water table lies. As it gets lower, it taps into the more likely veins
containing sulpher. The more standing water, the greater the disipation. Mine does exactly that, sometimes it disapears entirely, usually in the spring, then in the fall it gets smellier.
This is why I think your well is safe, just make sure it's sealed at the top from groundwater.

My kids have been drinking it for years without problems. The health departments seem to view it as a nuissance rather than contamination.
In fact, when a water sample is requested, some
testers will not report the sulpher if it's not dangerous. There are some who will even say it's good for the body for medicinal reasons.

The dangerous sulpher is the caustic type. And
that is an overload of sulpher in PPM. It will corode pipes and is dangerous to drink of course.
I guess you could start your own battery business,
hee,hee. But those type of wells I understand are a rare occurance.

"Gallons" of chlorine is a definite NO, that's too much. I would recommend for that size casing
a cup every 3 weeks or so. It takes very little chlorine to cleanse your water. But contact your local health board or a qualified water person for help. Personally, I feel I don't need it and never will. Just a matter of getting used to it.

My personal opinion is not to worry about it.

OW - yup, bleach    Posted 10-08-2001 at 06:35:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
Bleach really works. We just poured a gallon of ag bleach down the well, let it sit overnite, cycled the mix thru the well and pumped it out til the smell was gone the next day. (and then some) It's behaved for 3 years now.
The idea of filling the lines with the mix before letting it sit sounds like good insurance too .......

Jake    Posted 10-07-2001 at 22:19:29       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The bacteria is coliform[sp] and often detected in new wells or after extended wet weather. 2 gallons of bleach is ok, its recomended that the well cap be removed and the water-chlorine be sprayed into the casing for several hours. When flushing the system pump as much water outside as chlorine will kill the septic tanks action. The county health dept usually has kits to be sent for testing. Theres enough stuff going around without drinking bacteria too. Luck Jake

Franz    Posted 10-07-2001 at 21:54:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Is it both hot & cold water that smells, or just the hot water?

Nathan(GA)    Posted 10-07-2001 at 20:34:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
Can't say if the bacteria is causing the smell. Probably be a good idea to get the water checked by your local health dept. or a good lab.

I did the bleach deal on our well some time back. I forget the proper rate for the bleach, but you can get info from your county health inspector or maybe somebody here knows.

I poured the bleach down the well. Came inside and ran faucets until I smelled the bleach, then turned them off. Let 'em sit overnight. Flushed 'em all out the next day until no more smell.

Jim (Ca.)    Posted 09-30-2006 at 18:13:54       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We had a new well drilled Oct. 05. At the time of setting the pump,the Well Driller added Clorin tablets to the well. He stated that the tablets would last about 6 months and at that time I should add a gallon of bleach. Well I didn't do it yet and we now have the smell of sulfer. We haven't built the house yet so it can't be blamed on the heater. I will buy some bleach tomorrow and see what happens. I will report my findings in a few weeks.

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