Water Smells Like Eggs

Do you ever turn on your water, just to find that water smells like rotten eggs? While not always the case, it’s typically caused by an increased level of hydrogen sulfide gas and sulfur bacteria in your water supply.

Before we get into the finer details of what’s causing your water to smell, let’s examine a few important facts:

  • There are more than 300 chemicals in drinking water
  • Even though you can assume your water is safe to drink, you don’t want to take a risk as contamination is possible
  • There is more than one way to resolve the issue

What’s the Cause of the Smell?

If your water smells like rotten eggs you don’t want to ignore this. Instead, you need to find the source, implement a plan of attack, and continue to monitor the issue until it’s resolved.

Hydrogen sulfide is present primarily dissolved gas in water at 6 pH, while at 8pH its’s mostly present in the ionized form. A 7pH it’s roughly half dissolved gas and half ionized. Waters with hydrogen sulfide (H2S) presents the following problems:

  • Rotten Egg Odor
  • Corrosivity
  • Lead, Copper Implications
  • Biogenic Nature
  • Localized Infection

Here are some of the many steps to take the moment you realize your water smells like rotten eggs:

  • If the smell only comes about when using hot water, there’s a good chance it’s related to your water heater (such as bacteria build up)
  • If the smell is strong when using cold and hot water, regardless of the location in your home, it’s almost always related to hydrogen in the groundwater and/or it is a buildup of Sulphur in your plumbing system

Do you have concerns about your water quality? If so, you shouldn’t hesitate to do one of two things:

  • Contact an experienced and knowledgeable water filtration company to inspect your pipes, test your water and provide additional information
  • Use a test kit to check the levels of iron bacteria, sulfur bacteria, sulfate, and hydrogen sulfide

By taking these steps, you’ll soon know what went wrong and how to proceed.

How Can I Find the Source?

The odor of hydrogen sulfide gas can be detected in water at a very low level. Smell the water coming out of the hot and cold water faucets. The “rotten egg” smell will often be more noticeable from the hot water because more of the gas is vaporized. You can also have the water tested for hydrogen sulfide, sulfate, sulfur bacteria, and iron bacteria at an environmental testing laboratory.

Make a Change

Rather than drink tap water, it may be time to look into alternatives. For example, you could install a water filter in your home to remove harmful contaminants.

Kinetico Sulfur Guard filters provide a turnkey remedy for handling foul-smelling “rotten egg” water. Unlike other systems that use multiple treatment stages and are expensive, cumbersome and complex to maintain, there’s not much to do with a Kinetico Sulfur Guard™ filter (just add peroxide occasionally) but enjoy your water.


It’s important to check the quality of your water often, especially if it smells like rotten eggs. There are solutions to consider – you simply need to find the one that’s best for your home!