Sulfur in your water supply is easily recognized by its offensive odor. Hydrogen sulfide gas causes the "rotten-egg" or sulfur water smell. Hydrogen sulfide in water causes no known health effects. However, high concentrations do change the taste of the water.
Hydrogen sulfide dissolved in water corrodes metals such as iron, steel, copper and brass. The corrosion of iron and steel from sulfur forms ferrous sulfide or "black water." Hydrogen sulfide in water can blacken silverware and discolor copper and brass utensils.
Sulfur water makes cleaning clothes very difficult. Using chlorine bleach in sulfur water reduces the cleaning power of detergent. Hydrogen sulfide in water also corrodes exposed metal parts in washing machines.
Iron and manganese, often present with hydrogen sulfide, turn the water black and greasy-feeling. If untreated, the water stains laundry, washing machines, sinks and kitchenware. When used in the laundry, chlorine bleach reacts with iron and manganese forming dark rusty or brownish stains on clothes.
Several methods of removing sulfur from water are available. The treatment method selected depends on many factors. These factors include the level of sulfur in the water, the amount of iron and manganese in the water, and if bacterial contamination must also be treated. Remember to consider the sim- plicity of the treatment method and the total cost including installation, maintenance and chemical costs.