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Treating Water for Sulfur in Midcoast Maine

Sulfur (also known as hydrogen sulfide gas) can occur naturally in ground water or be produced by plant or other organic substances decomposed. It is characterized by a signature rotten egg smell. Not only does it impart an offensive taste and odor, but it can even turn certain beverages like scotch and whiskey a black color. Any beverage prepared with the water will be negatively affected.

In the case where water contains iron and hydrogen sulfide gas, they will combine to form iron sulfide, which is black in color. This is not only objectionable but may stain clothing and other items.

If you have ongoing sulfur in the water, a carbon filter may need to be installed.


Although the dangers of radon gas in the home have been well publicized over the last few years, people don’t think of it coming in through their water supply. The state of Maine started requiring landlords to test for radon on March 1, 2014. (This is in addition to other water testing requirements that were already in place.)

Radon gas is created when the radioactive mineral radium degrades. Radium leaches from phosphates and other radium bearing rock formations (including granite) into the water. Radon will quickly escape from water as soon as it hits the air, but may linger in the room for minutes to hours. As water is run in the kitchen faucet or as one is taking a shower, the gas separates from the water and is inhaled.

The State of Maine recommended limit for radon is less than 4000 pCi/L for drinking water. Up to 1/3 of all wells in Maine have radon gas over 4000 pCi/L.

A major health concern is the prolonged exposure to radiation. Elevated radioactive intake has been found to cause genetic disorders, birth defects, and many types of cancer. Radon gas may cause lung cancer and the longer you are exposed, the higher your risk. It has been linked to stomach, liver and brain cancer, also. In Maine, 25% of lung cancer deaths have been linked to homes with radon gas in the well water.

If your water is found to contain above the recommended levels of radon, we may recommend installing either a Carbon Filter or Bubble Up System to treat your water.


If you have ongoing sulfur issues, other unpleasant tastes or odors, chlorine, MTBEs or radon (levels less than 10,000 pCi/L only), a Carbon Filter may be needed.

This filter consists of a mineral tank filled with media inside (often referred to as a bed) and a control head. As your water passes through the bed of the filter, the impurities in your water are attracted to the media particles inside the tank. The particles attach to the media inside the tank, removing them from the water before it exits the filter.

Eventually the media inside the tank becomes saturated, so the timer on the head of the system is set to automatically backwash the filter every few days to clean out the media inside the tank.

Carbon Filters require very little maintenance but the media bed inside the tank does eventually wear out. The media will need to be replaced every 3-6 years, depending on the level of impurities and amount of water used daily.

If there is a power outage, or after daylight savings, you will need to reset the timer. This is important to reset because you don’t want to unknowingly use water during a backwash cycle. Please see the Resetting Backwash Cycle page for instructions on resetting the time.

Call Haskell’s Water Treatment Inc. today at (207) 594-4947 or 1 (800) 244-4947 for more information about sulfur.


1-207-594-4947 | 1-800-244-4947

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