Easy and Effective Remedies for Smelly Well Water

Smelly well water is the worst! Not only does it make showers and baths less enjoyable, it does not taste great either. This affects water, coffee, tea, lemonade, soup, and all meals prepared with water. It can also stain laundry, cloud water, and more. Although the effects of smelly water are mostly harmless, it is something no one wants to, or should, live with. There are viable solutions to odorous well water. Continue reading to learn what's causing your well water to smell bad, and how to get rid of it for good.

Rotten Egg Smell

Does your tap water smell like rotten eggs? This is caused by a bacterial problem that lives in the surrounding soil or ground water. What you actually smell is a gas called hydrogen sulfide (H2S). This gas is produced by bacteria. For this reason, odor-causing bacteria are also called "iron" or "sulfur-reducing" bacteria. Although the bacteria comes from the surrounding soil and groundwater, it can find its way into well water supplies in many ways. Work on indoor plumbing can open doors for odor-causing bacteria, as well as, well maintenance and repair, underground trench work, pipe leaks, defective well casing, poor performing pumps, surface water connections, and more.


Well water bacteria is a challenge to get rid of once it becomes fully-established. However, there are still effective remedies to eliminate this problem. It simply takes trial and error, and patience. Here are the most common solutions to treating odor-causing bacteria and smelly well water:

  • Install a Water Chlorinator
  • Install a Whole-House Iron / Carbon Filtration System
  • Inject Air or Oxygen into the Water
  • All of the Above

Test Your Water

To begin the process of treating your water for bacteria, you will need to test it first. You can purchase a water testing kit at any local home improvement store or water conditioning store. You can also hire a professional water quality company for the most accurate results. The test you use should measure a wide variety of constituents and contaminants, but be sure it at least measures pH, iron, manganese, hardness, and total dissolved solids (TDS).

These quantities will give your water quality technician the information they need to recommend the best treatment strategies for your home. Be sure to hire a licensed plumbing company who specializes in water filtration and water conditioning. They have the skills, resources, and equipment necessary to deliver accurate evaluations, professional recommendations, and superior service.