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The Issue with Hydrogen Sulfide in Water

Posted on Sep 21, 2014 by in Water | 0 comments

If you think that hard water is not so bad after all despite the spots on your dishes, the scum on your bathroom tiles, and the clogged pipes in your walls, you’d better think again. While it is true that some calcium and magnesium in your water may have some (disputed) health benefits, those aren’t the only compounds that you could find in your drinking water. It doesn’t say anything about hydrogen sulfide, for instance.

If your drinking water smells a little bit like someone’s sweaty foot or a rotten egg, then it probably contains some hydrogen sulfide. This is a naturally occurring gas you will find in groundwater when bacteria works on sulfur and converts it to hydrogen sulfide. It is most often found in well water and some plumbing systems where sand, shale, and peat formations are common, such as Texas. Man-made hydrogen sulfide may also be produced by water heaters and sewage.

While it is relatively harmless to humans in small doses, hydrogen sulfide makes water unpleasant to drink and it certainly has no known health benefits. It is also a flammable gas and can be toxic at high levels. It can corrode pipes and release heavy metals into your water, which can stain clothing, silverware, and metal utensils. Besides, you don’t know where it really came from, so it would just make a lot of sense to get rid of it.

There are many water treatment options for reducing or removing hydrogen sulfide from your water supply. The level of the hydrogen sulfide, iron, and manganese in the water as well as the pH will determine what water treatment method will be ideal. Consult with a water treatment specialist in your area for best results.

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