NGWA Provides Guidance on Hydrogen Sulfide

New best suggested practice developed for water well system professionals

NGWA Best Suggested Practice Hydrogen Sulfide Water Well Systems

The National Ground Water Assn. (NGWA) has developed an industry best suggested practice (BSP) for water well system professionals to use on how to deal with problematic concentrations of hydrogen sulfide in residential water well systems.

Hydrogen sulfide is often responsible for the "rotten egg" odor sometimes present in well water. It is a nuisance for well owners due to its corrosive properties, which, even in low concentrations, may cause well and plumbing components to deteriorate. However, the greatest health threat is to water well system professionals servicing wells who encounter hydrogen sulfide in confined spaces or high concentrations.

“Reducing Problematic Concentrations of Hydrogen Sulfide in Residential Water Well Systems” includes:

  • Health and safety information relating to hydrogen sulfide;
  • Guidance on the interaction of hydrogen sulfide with geologic and land-use conditions;
  • Methodologies for well construction and location;
  • Well function considerations;
  • Sampling and testing for hydrogen sulfide in groundwater; and
  • Mitigation of hydrogen sulfide in water well systems.

The BSP, developed by a work group of NGWA member professionals drawing from extensive experience and referenced research, also discusses related constituents — sulfate-reducing bacteria and sulfur dioxide. Available as a PDF, the BSP can be downloaded through the NGWA online bookstore. While free to members, there is a nominal charge to nonmembers.


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