How to Get Rid of a Bad Rotten Egg Smell From Water

Lisa Wampler

The bad rotten egg smell in water is caused by increased levels of sulfur in the water. If you live in an area where the water is-treated before it comes into your home, you will not suffer from rotten egg water.

However, if you live in an area where you get your water from an underground well, you will likely see an increase in sulfur during periods of heavy rain. If this happens and does not go away on its own within a few days, you can treat your well water to kill unwanted bacteria and rotten egg smell.

  1. Collect enough water in plastic jugs to provide you with at least 24 hours of drinking water. Unfortunately, the use of the toilet and bathtub is prohibited because water being treated by this process can damage septic systems and leach beds. Arrange with a friend or family member for these needs.

  2. Turn off all of your water treatment equipment such as UV filters and reverse osmosis equipment. Remove any paper or charcoal filters. If possible, bypass all of this equipment completely with a bypass valve.

  3. Locate and remove the cap for your well. In most cases, it sticks up from the ground outside the home. In other cases, the well is buried. If you do not want to excavate the top of the well, you can locate the air vent usually inside the home where the plumbing for the well comes through the wall.

  4. Pour 3 cups of standard household bleach into the well for every 100 gallons of water inside the well. The exact amount of water in the well will only be an estimate but you can use the chart located on the University of Georgia Extension website as a guide to help you determine how many gallons your well holds. If you could not get the cap off the well, pour the bleach into the air vent, then pour a gallon of water into the vent to clean the bleach out of the vent tube.

  5. Run cold and hot water through each faucet including the ones outside until you smell bleach. Stop running water as soon as you smell the bleach to prevent damage to your septic’s ecosystem.

  6. Wait at least 24 hours before using any more water.

  7. Secure a hose to an outside faucet and place the open end of the hose in an area where water will not run into you septic, leach bed or into any natural water source.

  8. Run water from the hose until the smell of bleach dissipates.