Have you been putting up with water that smells like rotten eggs and wishing you could fix it? If so, there are several different things that could be causing the odor and a few relatively simple solutions. Let’s take a look.


Hydrogen sulfide gas (commonly referred to as “sulfur”) is a contaminant that we find regularly in well water. Sulfur can make water smell and taste terrible. It results from decaying organic matter, and is one of the well water contaminants that homeowners fear most. The good news is with modern technology sulfur can be effectively removed from your water.

Sulfur gas is corrosive. The gases, when released from the water, tend to cause damage to copper plumbing, jewelry, HVAC components, and electronic devices. Because hydrogen sulfide is a gas, it is imperative that the water be tested at its source.

Once sulfur has been found in the results of your water test, there are a few variables to consider.

  1. If the smell is in both the hot and cold faucets, but only from the water treated by a water softener and not in the untreated water, the problem is likely to be sulfur bacteria in the water softener.
  2. If the smell is strong when the water in both the hot and cold faucets is first turned on and is constant, then your problem could be a hydrogen sulfide in the groundwater.


Some types of bacteria, while not necessarily harmful to your health, can cause serious odor problems. Often times, these problems can be remedied with a simple well disinfection. If a well disinfection fails to eradicate the odor, continuous disinfection may be necessary. Also if the smell is stronger when both hot and cold faucets are first turned on but goes away after the water runs, it could be a problem of sulfur bacteria in the well or distribution system.

Water Heater Rods

Water heaters are often equipped with anode rods that are designed to minimize tank corrosion. In some situations, the rods react poorly with well water and create a terrible odor. At times, they even discolor the water, creating stains in the home. These old rods can be replaced with new ones made from different alloys that are less likely to cause odor issues. If the smell is coming from only the hot water faucet the problem could be linked back to the water heater.  

The best way to handle your issue is to have a free water analysis by a professional who has the experience to diagnose and solve your water problem. Contact a water expert at Peacock Water today! (800) 333-6312