Orange/Brown stains and sulphur smelling water


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Old 10-09-09, 12:51 PM
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Orange/Brown stains and sulphur smelling water

Can anyone help me out in figuring out what the cause and solution would be for:

1) Water smells like rotten eggs. I know this is H2S gas, and is probably coming from our well water.

2) We also get brown/orange stains on laundry, and occasionally out of the tap/toilet/shower etc. I am guessing that this is most likely iron, and again is probably coming from our well water.

What would be the best way to eliminate these problems? Would an RO unit work? or some other kind of filter? At the moment we are dealing with it by pouring chlorine bleach into the well periodically. I know I most likely need a water company to come out and test the water to know what the exact make up of it is, and to recommend some solutions. But I am trying to get an idea of what may be the problem, and what options and cost of options are available to cure the problem.

Thanks.
 
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Old 10-09-09, 01:27 PM
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Heres what we did you get our well to pass so we could buy our house. If a little bleach is not doing the trick you need to shock your well. I have used pool shocking chemicals or just plain bleach. Pop off the cap on the well, dump your dissolved mix down the well. Next, use a garden hose and run the mixture through the well, pipe, garden hose and wash the well casing all the way down. I would do this for about half an hour. Run your taps inside until you smell bleach and stop. If you can let this sit in the pipes that would be better. We let it sit for 24 hours. Then run your garden hose (out on the yard) and flush the well. (we did for about 8 hours). We bought our house and never had any rotten egg smell.

The above is pretty exstream so if you want just make sure you wash the casing.

A water softener will help you rust stains but if it is too much you will need some kind of filter.
 
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Old 10-15-09, 05:30 PM
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The rotten egg smell is almost certainly hydrogen sulfide or sulfur as it is commonly known in the treatment industry. Oxidizing the water (as you did with bleach) will work but only for as long as the oxidizer is present which is why you are having to do it often.
The iron is similar to the sulfur in that when oxidized it will "drop out" of solution into a particle form and fall to the bottom of the well. Generally the iron problem will come back much sooner after chlorinating the well than would the sulfur smell.
Chlorinating the well as you're doing is a short term solution that can often cause large problems later on. Chlorine is corrosive so anything down the well that is metal (steel, brass, aluminum, cheap stainless) is susceptible to chlorine exposure in high doses and it will eventually start to corrode such materials. If you plan on continuing to dump chlorine down the well I highly recommend filling up a couple CLEAN 5 gallon bucket with water before you start and dumping the buckets down the well after you dump in the chlorine to help wash the chlorine of the materials in the well.
Long term solutions for the problem are filtering the sulfur and iron but that depends on many factors. You needs to have a qualified expert come out and test the water and give you suggestions. When I am creating systems for removing iron and sulfur I always check sulfur concentration level and iron concentration level (free and total) and pH as it will make a difference as well. While having it tested you may as well have a hardness test performed. A good water conditioning expert should ask you about your water usage to make sure he sizes the system appropriately. Large multi-head showers require a lot of water all at one time so generally they require bigger equipment. If you have a large family and many people use the water at the same time it may warrant larger equipment as well.
Post water test results and I'd be happy to give my 2 cents on equipment suggestions.
 
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Old 10-16-09, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by shane21 View Post
Chlorinating the well as you're doing is a short term solution that can often cause large problems later on. Chlorine is corrosive so anything down the well that is metal (steel, brass, aluminum, cheap stainless) is susceptible to chlorine exposure in high doses and it will eventually start to corrode such materials.
Thanks for the reply, anytime I have poured chlorine down the well I have wondered about the negative effects that it will possibly be having, so know that this is a short term solution... there is a Culligan depot a few miles away from our house, and they offer free testing, so I will be arranging to have them come out at some point and test the water and go from there.
 
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Old 10-30-09, 08:26 AM
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Well, after the water test they recommended we get the Culligan Gold System.... just under $2,000 installed!!! Unfortunately he did not leave the test results.

Crap. Not sure if we really need something that expensive though, the guy did not sound like he was certain we really needed that model.
 
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Old 10-30-09, 05:06 PM
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Tell them you want the test results. Post them here and I'm sure the community will be happy offer recommendations. If it's an air injection system they are selling, I can tell you I'm not a big fan of them but different companies favor different systems.

As for the $2000, when I install a system to remove moderate sulfur and moderate-to-heavy iron I install a system that runs about $1700 or so installed.

Keep in mind all installations vary depending on plumbing (type, size and how much needs changed) drain line (how far, what size) and quality. I don't think $2000 sounds too bad IF you need it. Again post the results and we can further assist you.
 
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Old 11-06-09, 02:53 PM
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You really need to get it tested to know what you are dealing with. In most cases an good softener, or a softener combined with a filter to remove iron and hydrogen sulfide will take care of it.
 
 

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