Sulfur is a naturally occurring mineral found in food, plants, and soil. Sulfur can also exist as hydrogen sulfide gas in groundwater containing decaying organic matter such as wetlands, marshes, river bed, hot spring, and volcanic craters.
There are two types of sulfur found in drinking water. They are hydrogen sulfide and sulfate-reducing bacteria. Hydrogen sulfide is sometimes present in wells that are deep or shallow. They are also present in wells constructed in either sandstone or shale, as well as wells built near coal, oil fields or peat deposits.
Sulfur water has an unpleasant odor which smells like a rotten egg because of the high amount of hydrogen sulfide gas it contains and releases into the air. Sulfur-reducing bacteria makes water produce a smelly odor when they digest sulfate minerals.
There is no official standard for the acceptable level of hung in fact b can be Sulfide in drinking water because the EPA does not consider Hydrogen Sulfide as a drinking-water contaminant. When the concentration level of Hydrogen Sulfide in water is high enough to put human health as risk, that water is believed to be very pungent and repulsive.
Hydrogen Sulfide naturally occurs in a concentration of fewer than 10 milligrams per liter. However, it can rarely go as high as 50 – 75 milligrams per liter. The level of sulfur in groundwater supplies is usually high than in surface water.
When ground or rainwater seeps through the earth’s surface, it dissolves some naturally occurring minerals. These minerals include oxidized sulfide ores and other Sulfur-containing minerals that are found in wells and significant water sources. Also, sulfur, as a registered chemical for pesticides in the United States, can be overused in certain regions. When it is washed off, it seeps down the earth’s crust by gravity and makes its way into wells and other domestic groundwater facilities. High-level activities of sulfate-reducing bacteria in water supply resulting from improper water treatment or water heater contamination can also increase the concentration of sulfur in the water.
Any unpleasant smell in water should be a significant cause for concern as it can pose a severe risk to human health. Notwithstanding, when the water has a rotten egg smell, it usually indicates the presence of sulfur, especially. However, there are cases where other contaminants like sewage pollution can cause such foul odor. Therefore, proper water testing is necessary whenever there is any abnormality or suspicion. Here are some other effects of sulfur in the water
The high concentration of hydrogen sulfide in water gives water a bad taste along with a rotten egg smell.
The presence of sulfur in water causes metals such as iron, steel, copper, and brass to become corroded over time quickly. Household fixtures and appliances manufactured/designed with such metals often suffer a lot, needing repairs, replacement, and maintenance always. Corrosion of iron and steel also causes black water.
Sulfur water affects laundry. Sulfur water makes washing clothes very tedious, and when chlorine bleach is added to alleviate the sulfur, it reduces the cleaning power of the washing powder. Hydrogen sulfide causes damage to exposed metals in washing machine through the process of corrosion.
Sulfur water Stains. The sulfur in water causes stains on clothes, washing machines, sinks, toilets, and kitchenware. These stains become an eyesore, and always increase the cleaning budget because special chemicals or maintenance routine are required to remove them.
Plumbing is another part of the household that suffers from Sulfur water. Corrosion in pipes leads to frequents repairs, which becomes a hole in the pocket.
The smell from Sulfur water can also stick to other items they come in contact with at home. The item will then have the rotten egg smell left on them, which becomes unpleasant and discomforting. Things like clothes, utensils, and others are commonly affected.
The EPA has not set any level of sulfur in water as safe regarding the effects of Sulfur water on human health. Recent studies suggest that a certain amount of sulfur in drinking water can cause diarrhea and burning sensation. Ingestion of Sulfur can also irritate the respiratory system and even cause coughing. However, there is no adverse health effect on sulfur.
There are several methods to minimize sulfur in the water, but choosing a treatment method depends on specific criteria like the concentration level of the sulfur in the water. The level of any other mineral present in the water and the source of contamination. A proper water testing is often very essential to determining a treatment method.
Here are some methods to reduce Sulfur concentration in water;
In this method, chlorine bleach is added to Sulfur water to eliminate the Sulfur minerals in the water using chemical oxidization. Chlorine bleach also removes the rotten egg odor and disinfects the water supply.
This involves the use of a filtering system to reduce Sulfur minerals in water by filtering them together with iron and magnesium sediment. Sometimes, a settling tank is substituted for filtration. Carbon filter also removes sulfur, iron, and other minerals from water. When utilizing a carbon filter, ensure regular maintenance because the residues clog the filtration system.
This method removes low to moderate amount of hydrogen sulfide and also removes iron too. The filter oxidizes hydrogen sulfide and converts it into insoluble which the filter then removes.
his is not as reliable as other methods in removing sulfur from water, but it reduces hydrogen sulfide to a considerable level.
Water treatment packages are readily available and recommended for Sulfur water problems. For many Americans, staying healthy is a priority. As a result, getting a professional to test and determine a method for reduction of sulfur and rotten egg smell from your drinking water is very important. Saving your household from Sulfur water will not only protect your health but also save your pocket from frequent unnecessary repairs. Removing sulfur, ensure your home appliances serve adequately in the right condition while promoting good health.
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