Sulfur Smell in Everyday Life: How to Identify and Address It

Why does my water smell like rotten eggs?

The “rotten egg” stench from your faucet is likely hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide (also known as sulfur) scents may sometimes be found in water fixtures in homes and businesses. Sulfur is a mineral found in nature, typically found in water sources. As long as there is enough oxygen, it persists in a mixed form with oxygen and does not cause odor issues.

However, in the absence of oxygen, circumstances may transform the coupled oxygen form to a document combined with hydrogen (i.e., hydrogen sulfide), resulting in a compound with a distinctive rotten egg stench. Even if the stench is unpleasant, the water is safe to drink. While this is little consolation, the phenomenon is random throughout the country.

What does the city do to alleviate the odor?

In addition to the other basic practices required for a safe drinking water system, the city often increases disinfection stations around town as needed. It cleans the water distribution pipes with high-velocity flushing.

Why does the cold water smell like sulfur as well as the hot water?

You probably smelled the leftovers of hot water, and if you let the cold faucet run longer, the stink should go away. Your exterior faucets are likely linked straight to cold water and do not have a sulfur odor. This will assist you in determining if the source is your water heater.

What can I do to help control the odor?

There are various things you may do to assist in eliminating the stench. If the odor just happens on the hot water side, turn on the hot water throughout your house and let the water run until cold. This cleans out the water heater and may gradually reduce the stink. You may need to do this more than once, and you may need to do it regularly to maintain the tank cleansed. It may also be beneficial to temporarily raise the water temperature for many hours before flushing (be cautious of scorching temperatures at hot water fixture outputs while the temperature is raised).

Another option is to have a plumber replace the magnesium corrosion rod in your water tank with an aluminum rod. The stink at the tap is caused by the factory-installed magnesium rod in water heaters, which causes the dissolved sulfur to precipitate into a gas.

If the odor is on the cold water side or both, it might be produced by the formation of a situation in the plumbing system that causes the hydrogen form to be formed. Typically, this is restricted to one or a few fixtures where particular bacteria (known as sulfur-reducing bacteria) have gotten established. Resolving this problem is often more complicated, requiring a competent plumber to disinfect the house water system (typically with a chlorine solution), followed by a thorough cleansing to remove all disinfectants.

What if the odor doesn’t go away?

Please feel free to contact Environmental Services (972-237-8055) or Water Utilities (972-237-8400), and someone will contact you to discuss the specifics of your issue. Even though we won’t be able to enter your home and work on your plumbing, we will gladly discuss the matter with you and provide you with as much information as possible on alleviating the odor.

Is city water safe to drink?

Public Works takes all measures necessary to provide city residents with safe water free from objectionable odors, tastes, and colors. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality set stringent levels of regulation for public water supplies.

Daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual water samples are monitored. View the City of Grand Prairie’s annual water quality report for details on the tested parameters and the lab results.
For more information on water quality and testing requirements, visit or

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