What is Hydrogen Sulphide?

Hydrogen sulphide is a gas, with a very distinctive rotten egg smell, which can be found in ground water, rainwater tanks or hot water systems. It is generally caused by sulphur reducing bacteria and is more noticeable in hot water than cold.

How does hydrogen sulphide get into my water?

This gas is generally produced by decaying organic matter or sulphur reducing bacteria in the water source.

In bores it can be cause by either. In rainwater tanks, this can happen when the layer of sludge at the bottom of the tank is thick enough to create an anoxic layer. Just another good reason to keep your tank clean.

Sulphur reducing bacteria can get into hot water systems and are happy to breed in the nice warm environment.

If you can smell hydrogen sulphide, it is worth having an E.coli test done on the water, as a possible source of the bacteria is from sewage contamination.

What does hydrogen sulphide do?

There is no great effect to health from Hydrogen Sulphide, though excessive levels may cause nausea. The main problem is the offensive smell.

How can I remove hydrogen sulphide from water?

What method you need to use will depend on the level of contamination present.

Most common methods are aeration, by spraying the water into a storage tank.

Oxidation can be used if aeration is not quite enough, chlorine and hydrogen peroxide are both effective.

Activated carbon filtration can also remove sulphur, but it uses up carbon very quickly, so this is generally used after other methods to catch any remaining sulphur.