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Monday, February 2, 2009

[Blog] The Story of Stuff: This post isn't directly related to water, but it's related in a way.  Annie Leonard put together a website with a twenty minute video called "The...

The Story of Stuff

(My Original Blog Post:
This post isn't directly related to water, but it's related in a way.  Annie Leonard put together a website with a twenty minute video called "The Story of Stuff".

In this video she describes the how's, why's of our current environmental train wreck we call the planet earth.

She does this with clarity and foresight, and in such a way to make it clear to everyone why this is happening and what we need to do to save ourselves.

This applies to every resource, including water.

Please, go check out the Story of Stuff and learn how to save the water, the resources, the planet and ourselves. It'll be the best twenty minutes you've ever spent.

[Blog] The Story of Stuff: This post isn't directly related to water, but it's related in a way.  Annie Leonard p...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sulphur burps from water.

(My Original Blog Post:
Rachael from Alaska writes:

Hi! I was reading some answers on your website, and have a question. We recently purchased a home on a well. We have a water softner with salt, but do not know the last time it was filled. My family has been experiencing "sulfur burps" since we moved in. Our water smells fine, but I am worried that we are drinking something that is not agreeing with our stomachs. Could there be a way that we can fix this by getting a water purifier on our sink for drinking water?

Hi Rachel, thanks for writing in.

Water softener resin is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria.  This is especially true if left to sit or run without salt, or proper maintenance.  If using a water softener, it is a good idea to have a kitchen tap as non softened water for drinking and cooking with.  This will prevent excess salt from the softening process potentially harming you, and prevent contamination from bacteria.

Ground water commonly has sulphur reducing bacteria.  This usually departs a ‘rotten egg’ smell in the water when they are in the ground. It is possible that these bacteria are growing in your water softener and you are ingesting them.  Sulphur reducing bacteria reduce minute quantities of sulphur compounds to create hydrogen sulphide, which they may be doing in your guts. This is however consistent with the processes of the bacteria, as the hydrogen sulphide they produce is a gas, which may be why you’re getting these “sulphur burps”.

I wish I could give you more information on the particular processes of these bacteria or if this is even the case, but I am not a health care professional. I do know that sulphur reducing bacteria are not considered a health problem and hydrogen sulphide is considered only a nuisance.

I would be careful of counter top water purifiers like Brita or other carbon filter based products. Most of these products are only for improving the aesthetic quality of already potable water, and in fact could foster further bacteria growth (carbon, like softener resin, is considered ‘housing’ for bacteria).

To protect your water supply it needs to be disinfected.  My advice is to ensure that you do have at least one kitchen tap free of softened water for drinking and cooking.  You may want to invest in a sediment filter and a whole house U.V. system.  I currently operate twenty small systems with U.V., and use the U.V. Pure product. I feel it is an excellent product and a top notch company, and has served me well for the 5 years I’ve had their product installed. This particular product has built in alarms that assures proper does for inactivating micro organisms, and if the proper U.V. dose drops too low, it will shut down your water and issue and alarm. You can visit them at  They should be able to point you to a distributor in the area.

If you continue to have these ‘sulphur burps’, I would encourage you to visit your local health care professional for a diagnosis.

I hope I’ve helped. Please do not hesitate to write in again for further clarification or to ask another question.