“Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.”
— Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Summer in Indiana—it’s hot, and you need a clean, refreshing glass of water. You turn on your water, but to your dismay, the faucet streams out odoriferous ooze instead. Bad news—you’ve got smelly water. Water with a bad odor is a common household problem, and many homeowners think they just have to settle for stinky water. You might feel like the ancient mariner, “Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.” Sure, you’ve got plenty of water available coming through your pipes, but it reeks of sulfur, rotten eggs, metal, or chlorine. It’s hardly water you want to drink or use for cooking. The good news is, smelly water from your faucet doesn’t have to be a life sentence. C&J Water is here to help fix your pungent flow with our many solutions for smelly water.
“Smell is the closest thing human beings have to a time machine.”
Of the five senses, smell is often sited as the keenest and acute. Our sense of smell works with olfactory nerves and neurons in our brain (limbic system) to trigger memories, emotions, and even behavior. The pleasant aroma of freshly-cut grass reminds us of the newness of life brought about by springtime. Saltwater at the beach conjures up memories of a family vacation from our childhood. We often say things like, “it smells like rain is coming” or “it smells like summer.” Memories and emotions from a scent can often happen spontaneously, with a smell acting as a trigger in recalling a long-forgotten event or experience. Marcel Proust, in his Remembrance of all Things Past, wrote that a bite of a madeleine vividly recalled childhood memories of his aunt giving him the very same cake before going to mass on a Sunday.
As much as we all love a sweet aroma that makes us reminisce of joyful days of old, a bad smell can rouse equally unwanted emotions and memories. The smell of smoke serves as an alarm to something burning, the odor of rotting food warns us not to eat it, or the smelly water coming from your faucet portends issues with your water source. But what causes smelly water and what can you do about it?
What causes smelly water?
Sulfur/Rotten Egg Smell — This might be a sign of dissolved hydrogen-sulfide gas in your water. Sulfates can be caused by certain types of bacteria, chemical reactions in your water heater, or too much magnesium in your water.
Earthy/Fishy odor — This odor can be caused by decaying organic matter in the drain or plumbing, certain algae, fungi, or bacteria in the well pressure tank, or even pollution in the well or surface drainage.
Chlorine/Bleach — As mentioned in a previous blog, if your water source is from a municipal utility, it is most likely treated with copious amounts of chlorine to kill bacteria. Public water suppliers are required by the EPA to disinfect water before sending it to homes and businesses. Chlorine interacts with organic materials built up in the plumbing system. Public water suppliers add free chlorine to the water to bind with contaminants (organic materials) to disinfect and prevent biofilm growth in the drinking water. Yes, biofilm is as gross as it sounds—it’s a slimy combination of bacteria, fungi, and algae. Once free chlorine combines with the contaminants, it attaches to things like bacteria in the water and generates what is called chloramines, which give off a strong chlorine odor. The more organic materials in the water, the worse the odor will be.
How can I get rid of my smelly water?
The experts at C&J Water have dealt with all of these smelly water problems, and more. Here are a few options to remove odor from your water:
AIO Odor & Iron Removal — AIO stands for Air Induction Oxidation and is an effective and economical way to remove iron without the use of messy and dangerous chemicals or expensive pumps. The AIO valve uses a unique process to create an air bubble at the upper portion of the tank to oxidize any ferrous iron prior to being filtered by the media. The single tank design takes up minimal space and the unique media increases the pH of the water as it filters. Our main purpose for this unit is to remove low concentrations of dissolved hydrogen sulfide and manganese from water. Paired with a water softener, AIO removes these contaminants and eliminates sulfur and rotten egg smells, as well as a metallic taste.
BIF Chemical Free Iron Filters — Ideal for water supplies with high iron content, this one-of-a-kind filter system uses a dedicated air tank to offer superior iron removal capacity and it uses less water than single tank iron filters. The BIF unit is perfect for customers looking for an efficient, low maintenance, chemical-free system. Natural oxidation removes iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide without chemicals, air pumps or a venturi.
Dechlorinator — This unit is ideal for home and business owners on municipal water systems that want to remove taste and odor problems caused by chlorine and chloramines.