My Wastewater Stinks Like Rotten Eggs

We received a call last week from a company complaining that the wastewater in the collection pit of their wash bay stunk so bad the workers were not wanting to work. They complained that the wash water in the collection pit smelled like rotten eggs.

Hydrogen Sulfide Stinks

That rotten egg smell is Hydrogen Sulfide gas (H2S).  This gas is produced by what are called anaerobic (no oxygen) bacteria. Anaerobic bacteria can live in the sludge that settles to the bottom of your collection pit. You can often see small bubbles of this gas coming to the top of the waster when the sludge is stirred.  When anaerobic bacteria are present, you will get varying levels of H2S gas and varying levels of discomfort.

What do I do?

Since anaerobic bacteria cannot live in the presence of dissolved oxygen, the easiest way to eliminate them is to aerate the water.  A simple aeration system for the wash bay pit was installed. The aeration system is an off the shelf aeration system with two eight-inch air stones, plenty for the customers 600 gallon collection pit. Within 24 hours the rotten egg smell was gone.

We’re here if you need us.

Of course, there are other ways to accomplish the same thing, but aeration is simplest and easiest. Call us if you smell rotten eggs.