How to Neutralize Hydrogen Sulfide in Water Using Chlorine

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Hydrogen sulfide, a compound with a distinctive rotten egg smell, is a common component of well water. One benefit of this odor is that it makes hydrogen sulfide detectable in concentrations far below the toxic level. The most common source of hydrogen sulfide is anaerobic bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide as a waste product. The use of chlorine is a common method of neutralizing the hydrogen sulfide in well water. Hydrogen sulfide reacts with chlorine to produce sulfur chloride, an odorless solid.

Things You'll Need

  • Bleach
  • Measuring cup
  • Water
  • Garden hose
  • Store a day's worth of untreated water before you begin the chlorination procedure. You won't be able to use your well water for several hours while the chlorine is circulating through your water system.

  • Determine the number of gallons in your water supply. Calculate the volume of water in your well using the formula V = 23.5 r^2 h, where V is the volume of the well in gallons, r is the radius of the well in feet and h is the depth of well in feet. Add 100 gallons to this figure to account for the water in your water tank and water heater.

  • Prepare a bleach solution that will provide a chlorine concentration of 100 parts per million (ppm) in your water supply. If you use a typical bleach that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite, this will be 1/4 ounce of bleach per gallon of water. Mix the correct amount of bleach with an equal amount of water to create the solution.

  • Pour the bleach solution into your wellhead. Circulate the bleach by running a hose from the nearest outside faucet into the well. Open this faucet all the way and turn the water off once you smell the bleach coming out of the hose. Open all the faucets and flush all of the toilets until you smell chlorine coming from each outlet in the house. Wait up to 24 hours and open all the water outlets again until you can no longer smell bleach.

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