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Thread: Relocated well nearby now water has egg smell

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member deltadawn's Avatar
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    Default Relocated well nearby now water has egg smell

    About six years ago, we did a major addition to our house in Florida resulting in needing to add another septic. Neighbor behind us had a well on her property too close to where our second septic was being put. We asked neighbor if she would consider moving her existing well a little further away on her property if we paid for a new pump and drilling of a new well and allow her to select the company to do the work. She obliged. I believe she selected the company her did her initial well. Her lot is probably between 1/4 to 1/3 acre, to give you size of area, and the distance from her old well to where she drilled her new well is probably 50-70 ft. away. We had city waters and assumed most others around did as well, but found out in the middle of the renovation she did not. Anyway, flash forward now.
    About four months ago (remember the new well was done in 2008), she informed my husband that her water has a rotten egg smell that comes and goes, and all she knows is she never had it with her old well. She didn't specify to my husband if the smell started immediately after she got the new well or exactly when it started. My husband was so taken aback to just be hearing about this years later, so he didn't think to ask if her if she did things like contact the company that did the new well, or verify exactly when the smell started. Personally, I would have to believe she would have called them if it was anytime in the months after getting the new well, but regardless, here we are, hearing about this from an elderly lady who is wishing she never moved her well for the couple behind her doing a renovation, even if her old well could have started having the same problem. Guess that's my reason for this post. Could this have happened in her old pump, too, meaning, could she just out of the blue, started having a rotten egg smell? Additionally, regardless of that answer, what is some advice I can offer to her to help get rid of this smell. I'm trying to be sympathetic. Thanks. For what it's worth, I lived in a house located about three blocks from hers/mine growing up, and we had a well, and it had a little smell to the water (some friends said smelled like rotten eggs). Plus, a house a mile from here that we rented while renovating our house had so much iron in the water, it would turn my hair. Just saying, the water around here has some strong minerals in it, for sure, but apparently her old well water 70 ft away didn't bother her and she wishes for that again!

  2. #2
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    The smell is likely from bacteria and it may be in the well or in the plumbing. If it comes and goes, I'd more suspect the plumbing. There is a lot of discussion on the topic in this forum.

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    Well Drilling/Service justwater's Avatar
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    Was the old well legally abandoned/cemented up? if not, hook back to it if u want. so long as any inspections are done.. the new well is really only needed if she sells the place.

    sorry, u said 70' away and i thought u said 70' deep. u can hook back to the old one if it is a deeper well made into a confined aquifer. besides that, it sounds like the well has a little sulfur which is normal for florida and can be treated several ways. i prefer air injection with or without a backwashing carbon filter depending on water usage.
    Last edited by justwater; 03-17-2013 at 09:58 PM.

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    DIY Junior Member deltadawn's Avatar
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    Wouldn't the neighbor still be skeptical about it (the old pump) being too close to our septic? How close is too close?

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    Well Drilling/Service justwater's Avatar
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    so long as its a deeper well it would be fine, however i understand how hard it might be to convince an elderly woman of that. matter of fact its probably not even worth it if theres a chance she'll get it in her head it could be bad for her. might as well use the new. before doing anything drastic i'd open her spigot, let it run several minutes, take a sample and have it tested to be sure... then you can decide the next step, and if you want to take it.

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltadawn View Post
    Wouldn't the neighbor still be skeptical about it (the old pump) being too close to our septic? How close is too close?
    Depending on the formation of the old well, if it was not properly sealed up, it could become a conduit to contaminate the aquifer that the new well draws from.

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    DIY Junior Member deltadawn's Avatar
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    Default where to test how reliabel

    Quote Originally Posted by justwater View Post
    so long as its a deeper well it would be fine, however i understand how hard it might be to convince an elderly woman of that. matter of fact its probably not even worth it if theres a chance she'll get it in her head it could be bad for her. might as well use the new. before doing anything drastic i'd open her spigot, let it run several minutes, take a sample and have it tested to be sure... then you can decide the next step, and if you want to take it.


    I have found out a little more from our neighbor since my post. She never contacted the company that did the new well. Why? Beats me, and didn't want to badger her about that. She also told my husband they had it tested to see if it was safe to drink and she said that it was. She didn't elaborate about who or what kind of test they did. I'm no water expert, but have to believe, different people or companies, will tell you whether something is safe to drink or not, meaning, as long as it doesn't have E Coli and might have tons of bleach like chemicals, they might deem that safe to drink....Just saying. If I am the one to go to her and ask to have her water tested, who would I use? My sister recommended I get a cup of water right where it comes from the well and take that to a place nearby where we live called Flower Labs. Don't know what they do? Would this be fine or do you have another recommendation. I only ask these details because prior to us remodeling, I had been on city water (yes, I was fine with my chlorinated drinking water--ha), but we put in a Evian Reverse Osmosis system in our house who of course, told us how horrible the city water we were on was. By the way, I grew up nearby on well water that wasn't on any system. I'm just saying, depending on whose doing the testing, they may deem something bad or not bad, or safe, not safe. I'd rather use someone who just is unbiased, like the county will say the city water is fine, the water system people will say its bad, etc.....

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    DIY Junior Member deltadawn's Avatar
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    Thanks. Another something to consider. I think I'm going to have her water tested first, hopefully by some unbiased water testing or environmental water place. Does such a thing exist? Would the testing reveal what your are offering as a possible contaminant, or rather that it is contaminated and finding the source would be the next mission. For what it's worth, she did tell my husband that they had the water tested to see if it was safe to drink and she said it was.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Depending on the formation of the old well, if it was not properly sealed up, it could become a conduit to contaminate the aquifer that the new well draws from.

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    We are talking about two different things. If the old well was not sealed, it could allow the aquifer to become contaminated by your septic field. That is a health issue.

    The new well or some portion of the plumbing could have a harmless bacteria culture that produces that rotten egg smell. The bacteria is in abundance and can very easily be introduced into the well or the plumbing. Determining where the source of smell is coming from is the first step in mitigating it.

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    Well Drilling/Service justwater's Avatar
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    You could take a sample to the local health dept and have it tested for contaminates, sounds like the new well just has a little sulfur.. mine has alot. probably getting water from a different spot than the original well. best way to TRY and get the same exact water in a new well as the old is to get the same guy to install the new.. and one who keeps good records. still no guarantee.

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Usually if the well is the source then the smell doesn't really come and go. It could just be in the plumbing but until some investigation is done on site, this is all just conjecture.

  12. #12
    Well Drilling/Service justwater's Avatar
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    might seem like it comes and goes to a single older lady who probably uses 10 gallons a day. light sulfur can easily be overlooked but will sometimes show itself more say first thing in the morning, hot water side, higher demands, etc.

    either way, a good well/plumbing chlorination wouldnt hurt.

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