How to Remove Well Water Odor

a well with water
  • 1-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-600
What You'll Need
Chlorine solution
Household distiller
Household ultraviolet sterilizer
Ozone generator
Reverse osmosis water processor
Granular activated carbon or powdered block carbon

Well water is one of the most hygienic sources of fresh water; however, human interference with nature has resulted in ecological disturbance, causing well water pollution that often results in bad water odor. Moreover, such water is unsuitable for human use. The odor could be as a result of decaying organic matter, dissolved hydrogen sulfide gas or sulfur reducing bacteria, microbial activity due to seepage from septic tanks or due to naturally occurring gas and minerals. Additionally, the odor is usually difficult to live with, and such contaminated water can also cause health hazards. Following are five ways to get rid of the bad odor from well water.


Chlorination refers to the process of flushing well water system with a chlorine solution. This helps in neutralizing bacteria growth, temporary elimination of strong odors (hydrogen sulfide), temporary removal of iron and manganese build up. To chlorinate well water, pour the chlorine solution directly into well water, and allow it to pass through all the distribution lines.


Distillation requires water to be heated to its boiling point and condensing the steam. This process kills microbes and removes heavy metals and nitrates.

Equipment Required: Household Distillers

There are two types of distillers:

  • Batch Units: Water is directly poured into the boiling chamber, and the unit is switched on. Once the water is completely boiled and evaporated, the unit shuts down. The distilled water can then be collected and used for cooking and drinking.
  • Continuous Flow Units: These units are directly connected to water supply line. As distilled water is used up from the storage unit, the unit turns on automatically. A discharged line removes the impurities periodically.

Ultraviolet Purification

Ultraviolet purification method uses lamps producing UV-C or ”germicidal UV” radiation over a small area of 254 nm, thus effectively killing microbes. The lamps require annual replacements to ensure effective performance.

  • Equipment required: household ultraviolet sterilizer


Ozonation is the process of sterilizing well water with ozone gas by oxidizing metals like iron, manganese, and sulfur. This reduces the concentration of these impurities and the presence of strong odor. Additionally, ozone gas acts as a disinfectant against bacteria and viruses.

Equipment required: ozone generators

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is the process of filtering water under pressure through a semi-permeable membrane, allowing water to pass through but rejecting other particles such as bacteria, toxins, salts, and anything greater than around 150 Daltons.

Equipment required: reverse osmosis water processors

Activated Carbon Contractors

Activated carbon is carbon that has a small electropositive charge, which increases its natural capability to absorb impurities. As water passes through this activated carbon, the negative ions of the impurities are attached to its surface, resulting in impurity-free water. The efficiency of this method depends on the amount of carbon in the unit and the time the contaminated water is in contact with carbon. The impurities filtered using this mechanism include volatile organic compounds, pesticides, herbicides and residual disinfectants like chlorine.

Things required: granular activated carbon or powdered block carbon