Lost Valley Pump Service
Call (417) 312-5570
Call (417) 312-5570
Lost Valley Pump Service

Sulfur Removal and Recovery

Sulfur is a substance that’s naturally occurring. In its crystalline state, sulfur is colorless, tasteless, and harmless. Issues can arise when sulfur and iron bacteria are present in groundwater, changing sulfates into H2S, or hydrogen sulfide gas. H2S in your water supply is often at a very low concentration, so it’s not a public health risk. However, in its gaseous form, the smell is unpleasant and the gas can be poisonous and flammable at higher levels. When it’s dissolved in water, the gas can corrode metals such as copper, brass, steel, and iron, and it can darken silver and discolor brass and copper. Because of this, it’s an issue that definitely should be dealt with.

Does your well water smell like rotten eggs? Whether the rotten egg smell is from only the cold water, hot water, or it’s coming from both, the sulfur smell can be alarming to many homeowners. If you’re experiencing problems with well water smells, contact the team at Lost Valley Pump Service for our sulfur removal services. 

We know how awful it can be to deal with water that has a sulfur smell. Not only does it cause a terrible odor, but it can make your well water taste terrible. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available. The pros at Lost Valley Pump Service are here to help. We offer a variety of treatment options that can remove sulfur from your well water, quickly, efficiently, and for good. 

"Rotten Egg" or Sulfur Water Smell-Sulfur Recovery Solutions 

Bacteria feed on the sulfur found in a well water supply and tend to thrive in environments with low oxygen levels, such as groundwater wells. While bacteria can impact the odor and taste of water, they don’t cause any health concerns for people. Hydrogen sulfide gas issues are common in wells that are drilled into bedrock that is acidic, such as sandstone and shale. 

Sometimes, H2S may only be found in hot water in the home. In cases such as these, the chemical reactions within the water heater can be the underlying problem and the source of the rotten egg smell. A water heater comes equipped with a magnesium rod to prevent the water heater from corroding. The rod can chemically reduce sulfates, forming hydrogen sulfide. 

Water treatment equipment, such as a water softener system, can also cause the production of hydrogen sulfide. When this occurs, the water softener provides a perfect environment for sulfur-reducing bacteria to grow. 

H2S Effects

Even a small level of sulfur in your water supply can cause a bad odor and will negatively impact the taste of water. While the gas is flammable and poisonous, the human nose can detect it way before it can cause a public health concern. Many people can detect H2S levels that are far below 0.5MG/L. 

H2S can also cause black or yellow greasy stains on fixtures inside pipes where it forms metallic sulfides. 

Water Testing

Hydrogen sulfide doesn’t have a drinking water standard since it makes water aesthetically undrinkable long before it can reach a harmful concentration. Testing drinking water to determine hydrogen sulfide concentration can be helpful when it comes to choosing the right water treatment device. Testing should be done in the home or a water sample can be sent to a commercial testing lab. 

Sulfur Recovery Solutions 

In cases where rotten egg odor is found only in hot water, the production of hydrogen sulfide can usually be treated by removing the magnesium rod from a water heater. The removal of the rod can increase the corrosion in the water heater and will most likely void the manufacturer’s warranty. Replacing the magnesium rod with one that’s made out of aluminum can eliminate odor while maintaining corrosion protection.

If the water heater is not to blame, sulfur can be removed effectively from water using a number of treatment options. The most cost-effective and efficient option can depend on the hydrogen sulfide concentration. Most options are designed to treat all of the water that enters the home since H2S is considered an aesthetic odor problem. 

Water Treatment Units 

At Lost Valley Pump Service, we can help you choose the right water supply treatment unit for the removal of sulfur compounds. These days, there are many options available. Before you decide on a system, we’ll make sure you understand each system’s pros and cons and maintenance requirements.

Continuous Chlorination and Filtration

The most common form of treatment that’s used to eliminate sulfur from water is oxidation. With this process, a chemical is used to convert dissolved hydrogen sulfide gas into forms of sulfur that can be filtered from the water easily.

Chlorine is often used to remove sulfur compounds. Insoluble sulfur can be filtered mechanically with aggregate or sand. Chlorination can be used to remove any level of hydrogen sulfide, but it’s often applied when the levels exceed 6.0 MG/L.  A small pump is used to feed the chlorine solution into the water upstream from a coil of plastic pipe or a mixing tank. 

Carbon Filter Maintenance 

A chlorination system requires significant maintenance. A filter must be back washed to remove any accumulated sulfur particles and the tanks must be routinely refilled. If a carbon filter is installed, the carbon filter must also be replaced. Maintenance frequency is mainly determined by the hydrogen sulfide concentration and the amount of water used. 

Potassium Permanganate Filtration

With the use of a small chemical feed pump, a potassium permanganate solution can be injected into the water. Oxidized sulfur particles are then removed from the water using a zeolite or manganese greensand filter. 

The media will also allow for the polishing of un-oxidized hydrogen sulfide. 

Oxidizing Filters

An oxidizing filter will filter and oxidize hydrogen sulfide. These filters consist of manganese-treated greensand, however, other materials can also be used. 

Other types of oxidants can also be used in combination with additional treatment or alone, to remove H2S. Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent oxidant but its use in private systems has been limited. 


H2S occurs as gas in water, so it can be removed physically by injecting air into the water. This will allow the gas to escape. An aeration unit can work by stripping, bubbling, or cascading the gas from the water. 

Since it doesn’t add chemicals to water, aeration may be advantageous and a great chlorine-free treatment option. For aeration units, maintenance costs are very low, but the initial purchase cost is higher than other treatment options. 

Shock Chlorination

This treatment option involves pouring chlorine solution into a well to kill bacteria. This is commonly the first step used in treating bacterial contamination in wells. Since hydrogen sulfide originates from the bacterial reduction of sulfur, this treatment can be very helpful in eliminating or reducing bacteria. 

In many cases, removal efficiencies are not long-lasting. Unfortunately, odor and sulfur-reducing bacteria can return quickly after treatment. . 

Contact Lost Valley Pump Company Today for Smarter Sulfur Solutions 

Sulfur in your water is easily recognized by its strong and offensive odor. While hydrogen sulfide gas can cause that rotten egg smell, it causes no known health effects. However, high levels of hydrogen sulfide can change the taste of your water. At Lost Valley Pump Company, we offer smarter sulfur solutions that can help solve your water quality problem. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment. We can come out to your property, test your well water, and help you determine the best course of action to solve your hydrogen sulfide problem, the team at Lost Valley Pump Company is here to help. 

Need Help?

At Lost Valley Pump Service, we are your complete commercial and residential pump repair and installation team. We offer a variety of services including water filtration and water softeners, well drilling, and commercial and residential water pump repair and installation. We will ensure your home has only the freshest, cleanest water possible and can help you stay on top of maintaining your water pump to lengthen its lifespan. If you’re interested in learning more about our well drilling services, pump installation or you need emergency repairs, contact our office today to speak with one of our experienced and knowledgeable contractors. 

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