“What causes a rotten egg smell in my drinking water?” asked Susie from Upstate NY. “Is my water safe?”
Most likely the cause of the rotten egg smell has something to do with the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas in your water source or the same gas getting generated somewhere in your plumbing.
How do you verify the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas? Use a hydrogen sulfide test kit, of course!
Now some people will tell you that smelling the rotten egg smell serves as proof enough of a problem and that you ought to just go and get a filter for your water… but did those people know that different types of filters work well for different concentrations of hydrogen sulfide?
Also, before you run out and pick up a water filter system to remove hydrogen sulfide, make sure the source of the gas lies outside of your home and not within your plumbing!
Now back to the matter of water filters used to remove hydrogen sulfide gas…
As a general rule, many water professionals believe:
- Activated carbon filters work well for hydrogen sulfide concentrations less than 1 mg/L.
- Manganese ‘greensand’ filters work well for hydrogen sulfide concentrations as high as 6 mg/L.
- Oxidation filtration systems work well for hydrogen sulfide concentrations up to and exceeding 6 mg/L.
How do you know what type of filter get? Get yourself a drinking water test kit for hydrogen sulfide and let the results dictate your next move.
As for whether or not you have ‘safe drinking water’, the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas does not necessarily mean that you have UNsafe drinking water, but it should definitely make you want to get your water tested by a certified water testing lab