Hydrogen Sulfide in water – Rotten Egg Smell (ref: Ohio State U. Extension Fact Sheet)
Water containing hydrogen sulfide usually does not pose a health risk, but does give water a nuisance “rotten egg” smell and taste. Water supplies with as little as 1.0 ppm (part per million) hydrogen sulfide are corrosive, may tarnish copper and silverware, and occasionally release a black material that stains laundry and porcelain. Hydrogen sulfide is formed by sulfur bacteria that may occur naturally in water. These bacteria use the sulfur in decaying plants, rocks, or soil as their food or energy source and as a by-product produce hydrogen sulfide. The sulfur bacteria do not cause disease, but their presence in water can cause a bad taste or odor.
Chlorine will quickly react with hydrogen sulfide to form a tasteless, odorless, yellow particle. A small amount of chlorine, usually household laundry bleach, can be automatically added to any size water system to remove hydrogen sulfide. The yellow sulfur particles that remain in the water, will form a yellow film on clothing and fixtures. A sand or aggregate filter can remove the yellow particles.  Backwashing the filter is necessary every few days, or every few weeks, to flush out the accumulated sulfur particles….read more
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