Sulfur water (or sulphur water) is a condition where the running water contains a high amount of hydrogen sulfide gas that escapes into the air when the plumbing line is opened, giving a distinct "rotten egg" smell.
Cause and treatment
The condition indicates a high level of sulfate-reducing bacteria in the water supply. This may be due to the use of well water, poorly treated city water, or water heater contamination.
Various methods exist to treat sulfur in water. These methods include
- Use of a Carbon Filter (useful for very small amounts of hydrogen sulfide)
- Filtering the water through a canister of manganese oxide coated Greensand
- Aeration of the water
- Treating the water with chlorine (can be used to treat large amounts of hydrogen sulfide)
Bathing in water high in sulfur or other minerals for its presumed health benefits is known as balneotherapy.
According to The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drinking water with high levels of sulfate can cause diarrhea, especially in infants.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Drinking Water and Ground Water, Health Effects from Exposure to High Levels of Sulfate in Drinking Water Study, January 1999
- Cervin, Michael. "Sulfur Springs: To Soak or not to Soak?". Fox. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
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