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Sulfur, Sewer, or Rotten Egg Taste or Odor

Most Common Cause: Typically the odor is produced by bacteria growth in the drain. This issue typically occurs in the kitchen sink, especially if there is a garbage disposal, but may also occur in the bathroom sink. 

Recommended Action: To resolve the issue, place a stopper into the drain. Fill the sink half full with cold water and add ¼ cup of household bleach. Mix the bleach, and remove the stopper to empty the sink. The bleach will disinfect the sink drain or garbage disposal and reduce the odor. As a best practice, we recommend disinfecting the garbage disposal every 3-6 months. Disinfecting the trap a second time may be necessary. No health/safety concerns and water use can continue as normal.

Common Cause: If the odor is coming from the hot water only, the issue is most likely bacteria growth coming from inside the water heater.  

Recommended Action: If the water heater has not been flushed in the last six (6) to 12 months, please contact a plumbing expert to have it flushed. 

Common Cause: If the odor is coming from the cold water in all taps and showers, and you live on a cul-de-sac or dead-end street, the water in the main distribution system can sometimes become stale due to a lack of use.  

Recommended Action: In order to alleviate the odor, the water main requires flushing. Please open a case to be contacted by a Customer Case Manager for assistance.

Least Common Cause: The odor can be caused by sewer gas escaping the system. This can occur when the water in a drain’s P-trap has evaporated due to lack of use or when a home has been vacant. 

Recommended Action: Run water for a few minutes to refill the P-Trap. The water within the P-trap forms a barrier that prevents sewer gas from flowing back into the home. As a best practice, running water in rarely used sinks, showers and tubs monthly is recommended to prevent this from happening in the future.

After taking the above listed actions, if the concern was not resolved, please open a case to be contacted by a Customer Case Manager.

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