Hydrogen Sulfide

Where Does Hydrogen Sulfide Come From?

Hydrogen sulfide in the Northwest most commonly comes from an iron reducing bacteria that occurs naturally in well water, which results in a rotten egg smell. Iron is one of the food sources for the iron-reducing bacteria. Hydrogen sulfide can also result from decaying vegetation or chemical reactions due to naturally occurring elements in the Earth’s crust.

What are the health effects of hydrogen sulfide?

The iron bacteria is a non-pathogen, and not a threat to your health. In most cases, hydrogen sulfide gas is present in your water at low levels and is not a health issue. However, if the smell is strong enough to be noticeable at all times, it must be treated.

Treatment methods

Depending on the frequency and level of hydrogen sulfide gas, something as simple as an adsorption method using carbon can be effective at removing the odorous gas. However, in most cases, an aeration system or iron filter is needed.