The Mystery of the Smelly Well Water: Solved!

girl drinking waterYou’re not alone if your well water smells bad or is yellow. Many homeowners in rural areas have to deal with this issue. But what causes smelly well water, and how can it be fixed? will explore the causes of smelly well water and provide solutions to help you get your water back to normal!


Health Risks from Smelly & Yellow Water

The first step to solving the mystery of your smelly or yellow water understands what health risks it may pose. While most cases are not serious, smelly and yellow water can contain high levels of bacteria and other contaminants that can be harmful if consumed over an extended period. In some cases, these bacteria can even cause skin rashes or other health problems. If you notice any changes in your health after drinking the water, seek medical attention immediately.


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Causes and Solutions of Smelly & Yellow Water

Now that we have established the potential health risks of smelly and yellow water let’s explore what may be causing your water to smell or look this way and solutions to help fix the problem.


Iron Bacteria in well water

Iron bacteria is one of the most common causes of smelly, yellow water. Iron bacteria consume iron and other minerals in your well water and release hydrogen sulfide gas. The gas produces an unpleasant, sulfur-like odor in your water, making it look yellow or brown. In addition to the bad smell and discoloration, iron bacteria can clog pipes, reduce water flow and damage fixtures.


  • Solutions for Iron Bacteria

The good news is that there are several solutions for dealing with iron bacteria. One option is to use a water treatment system specifically designed for iron removals, such as an oxidation filtration system or reverse osmosis filter. Additionally, you can shock your well with chlorine bleach to kill the bacteria. Chlorination is a relatively inexpensive and effective way to get rid of iron bacteria, although you may need to repeat the shock treatment periodically.


Excess Manganese in Well Water 

Another common cause of smelly well water is excess manganese. Although manganese is an essential trace mineral found naturally in most drinking water, too much can cause an unpleasant smell and taste in your water. The smell is usually described as earthy or musty.


  • Solutions for Excess Manganese

Luckily, there are several solutions to reduce the amount of manganese in your drinking water. A sediment filter can help remove particles that contain manganese, while a water softener can also help to reduce manganese levels. If the problem persists, an iron filter or reverse osmosis filter can remove excess manganese from your well water.


Old & Rusty Pipes

Another common cause of smelly well water is old, rusty pipes. Rust in the pipes can give your water an unpleasant smell and taste and make it look yellowish-brown. If your pipes are more than 25 years old, it would be common for them to start rusting and becoming corroded.


  • Solutions for Old & Rusty Pipes

The best solution for dealing with rusty pipes is to have them replaced. Replacing outdated plumbing can improve your water quality and help eliminate unpleasant odors and discoloration. If you don’t want to replace the pipes, consider using a softener or filtration system to help reduce the amount of rust in your well water.


Well contamination with Organic Substance.

Is there anything more frustrating than discovering your well is contaminated with organic substances? Whether it’s leaves, grass, or animal matter, getting rid of these contaminants can be daunting. But don’t despair! There are ways to eliminate organic material from your well and keep your water clean and safe.


  • Solutions for Organic Substance

The first step in eliminating organic material from your well is to check the seal around the top of your well casing. If it’s broken or damaged, water and contaminants can get inside. You should also inspect your pump and ensure there are no cracks or other openings that could allow outside matter into the system. Finally, you can use a filtration system to help remove any organic material from your water.


Fire Hydrant Use

Using a fire hydrant to draw water for your well can lead to smelly and discolored water. This is because fire departments often use hydrants, and residual chemicals from the firefighting foam may get into your well water.


  • Solutions for Fire Hydrant Use

The best way to avoid this problem is to ensure that other entities do not use the fire hydrant you use to draw water from your well. Additionally, you can use a filtration system to help reduce the number of chemicals and other contaminants that may also be coming in through the hydrant.




If you’re dealing with smelly or yellow well water, there are more info on several potential causes. But don’t worry! There are also several solutions to help you eliminate the problem and get your water back to smelling and tasting great. With a little troubleshooting, you can find the source of the problem and take steps to fix it.


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