Water Quality - 9 of 27
Water Quality FAQs - 27 Found
Sulfur is not regulated as a primary drinking-water contaminant, so there is no official level of sulfur that represents a threshold between healthy and unhealthy concentrations. Sulfur is required by all living things as part of their normal metabolism, so the body needs a certain amount of sulfur just to live. Any adverse effects of sulfur in drinking water appear to be related to the following issues:
1. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is sometimes present in well water. A few tenths of a milligram of hydrogen sulfide per liter can cause drinking water to have a rotten-egg odor. While unpleasant, it is not harmful to health.
2. High concentrations of sulfate (SO4--) may be associated with diarrhea. For this reason, and for aesthetic reasons related to taste and odor, the Environmental Protection Agency currently has a secondary drinking-water standard of 250 milligrams per liter (mg/L) sulfate. Further information on sulfate and drinking water can be found at this web site:
3. Some waters with elevated sulfate also tend to have low pH (as in acid mine drainage). The pH of water is usually checked when well water is tested. A pH between 6.5 and 8.5 is in the range recommended by EPA.
Bottom line: If you are not bothered by a rotten-egg odor, and you don't have a sulfate concentration over 250 mg/L, you should have nothing to worry about from the sulfur.