Stinky Water? Something Doesn't Smell Right
Recently, The PBS Show This Old House aired a segment about tap water with an unpleasant, rotten-egg smell. This smell will typically occur only in houses that are on well water. The smell isn't caused by the pump, but is due to the presence of Hydrogen Sulfide gas in the groundwater itself.
Hydrogen Sulfide's presence in the water is caused by natural processes taking place in groundwater. The gas is typically produced by certain "sulfer bacteria," but it does not relate to the sanitary quality of the water. Aside from smelling bad, the water will not harm you.
When the smell remains after addressing the issue at the well, it may be due to its presence in your hot water heater. In some cases the hot water heater becomes a suitable environment for the "sulfer bacteria." This happens in water heaters that have older heating elements.
The only way to know for sure, and to be sure you're addressing the problem where it really is, is a full system inspection.
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