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How is hydrogen sulfide gas produced in a water heater?
A water heater can provide an ideal environment for the conversion of sulfate to hydrogen sulfide gas. The water heater can produce hydrogen sulfide gas in two ways - creating a warm environment where sulfur bacteria can live, and sustaining a reaction between sulfate in the water and the water heater anode.

A water heater usually contains a metal rod called an "anode," which is installed to reduce corrosion of the water heater tank. The anode is usually made of magnesium metal, which can supply electrons that aid in the conversion of sulfate to hydrogen sulfide gas. The anode is 1/2 to 3/4 inches in diameter and 30 to 40 inches long.

Public Works - Water & Wastewater

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1. How do I shut off my water?
2. How do I know if I have a leak?
3. I have a leak on my property. Can someone from the city fix it?
4. What is hard water?
5. How is hydrogen sulfide gas produced in a water heater?
6. Does the City of Portland add fluoride to its drinking water?
7. What is our water source?
8. How can I check for a leaky toilet?
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10. Where does city maintenance end?