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Hi I was wondering if there is anything my water company can do to minimize the sulphur smell in residents home who are away for extended periods of time. Or also to remove it from irrigation water. Thanks
The sulfur smell comes from hydrogen sulfide (H2S) being produced by bacterias seattled in the pipes. (Sulfide-producing bacterias for the key word if more info is needed on the net), they are anaerobic bacterias and are often biofilm producing bacteria as well. Hot water often triggers increase of gas release. Needless to say that when it comes to biofilm you have a biodiversity of potential pathogens living there. There's many ways of getting rid of the smell, filters like Carbon filters as pointed out above by big-rod works well however I would suggest looking into getting rid of your biofilm.
There are several options to choose from to get rid of the egg smell of sulfur.
Carbon filters are great for odors in drinking water but generally when used on well systems clog to often with sand and other sediment.
Chlorine contact systems also provide a bit of ease on the old sniffer as well
The options are many. They amount of sulfur you have helps us determine which system is most beneficial and economical for you.
Is the sulfur smell in only the hot water? The sulphate reducing bacteria mentioned in the other answers love hot water tanks that are less than 160° F. Turn up the temperature of the tank to at least 160°. Be careful because it's hot. CSA now require hot water tanks sold in Canada to be preset to 160. The hot water tank anoid rod may also be a cause of sulfur smell. See the hot water tank manual.
Sulfur in irrigation water can be treated by hydrogen peroxide (chemical feed pump ) or air injection (venturi or air compressor ) The sulfur is a disolved gas and dissipate naturally when exposed to the air.
Please make sure that if you do install any kind of injection or infusion system that you isolate the system from the supply by installing a Reduced Pressure Zone Backflow protection device prior to the unit.