How to Eliminate Odors and Freshen Well Water with Hydrogen Peroxide
In today’s episode, I am talking about hydrogen peroxide for well water and how great it works to eliminate odors in well water. This is the same hydrogen peroxide found at the local pharmacy or supermarket but slightly higher.
Four years or so ago, I put up a post on our blog called “Eliminate Well Water Odors: Four Reasons Why Hydrogen Peroxide Water Treatment Is Best.” We have had many folks call and email us regarding that article and ask about peroxide systems. I wanted to do a podcast episode explaining it in simple terms: why peroxide can often be the best option to kill sulfur odor in your well water!
Well Water Odor
If your well water smells like rotten eggs, you’re not alone. Well water odor is a common problem. Many homeowners on well water battle the stinky hydrogen sulfide.
Rotten egg hydrogen sulfide-laden water has an objectionable odor, but higher concentrations can be dangerous to health. It’s corrosive to plumbing fixtures and appliances because when hydrogen sulfide is formed and gets into your groundwater, you get sulfuric acid.
That makes the water tarnish fixtures and eat up the pipes. This unique rotten egg odor, hydrogen sulfide, is usually found in hot and cold water and can sometimes be worse in your water heater and hot water.
It can be a problem. It not only fouls and ruins water softeners and filter systems if not properly treated, but it’s corrosive to pipes and fixtures and just generally a nuisance.
Historically, aeration has been a common way to get rid of smelly water. Chlorine, however, has some undesirable byproducts and can leave chlorine taste and odors if not properly set upright.
Also, if the pH of your water is over 7.5 to 8, in other words, if you have alkaline water, then you have to use a lot of chlorine to get it to kill the hydrogen sulfide rotten egg odor. We found, as a lot of other folks do, we found that hydrogen peroxide does a better job.
Aeration can work well, but if you have iron or sulfur bacteria present, sometimes the bacteria can still create odors after your aeration system. In other words, it can develop in your water heater and plumbing system.
Aeration systems can also be more expensive to set up at times compared to peroxide injection. Peroxide, if you have the right concentration, can kill these iron-sulfur laded bacteria.
So the 4 reasons hydrogen peroxide works:
1. It works faster than chlorine, so often, no contact tank is required
2. Unlike chlorine, the peroxide will not leave a chemical residue or chemical by-products after it’s injected into the water.
3. Peroxide works over a wider pH range
4. Does not affect taste; it often improves the taste compared to chlorination
Over the last 10 years or so, hydrogen peroxide has become a preferred method of treatment for odor by many well water contractors and water treatment specialists all across the U.S. and Canada.
Peroxide and Chlorine
So you might ask: Hey if peroxide is so great, would you ever use chlorination? Well, yes, because chlorine has residual. If you have a chlorine residual, it works better to disinfect your water throughout a distribution system or plumbing system.
That’s why it’s used in communities and municipal systems because you want a chlorine residual to kill bacteria in the pipeline.
Chlorine is cheaper, too, as far as home systems go. Chlorine is less expensive; peroxide can be more expensive. Chlorine has a taste, but you can remove the chlorine taste by activated carbon.