Case Study 1 | Natural Gas Region / Water Discoloration


Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania - Private Well


Well water became discolored after the installation of a natural gas pipeline and direction drilling in the general vicinity and upgradient of the water well.

Level 1 Observational Testing / Water Issues

1. Discolored Water, Staining, Odors (primarily hot water) Metallic Taste / Metallic Odor
2. Water became intermittently discolored.
3. Hot water was more discolored than cold water.
4. Hot water had a slight odor.

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Neighborhood Environmental Report

1. Activities in the area - gas drilling, quarry, excavation, septic systems, and agricultural runoff.

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Inspection & Assessment
Level 2
and Level 3 Testing

No change in the water quality when the lines were flushed, but the first flush of the hot water line had a higher Iron and Manganese content, high standard plate count, and nuisance level Slime and Iron Bacteria.

Treatment / Action

1. Drained and purged hot water heater.
2. Pasteurized the heating unit as a result of suspecting a Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria issue and the presence of the discolored water and odor.
3. Checked anode in hot water heater - no problem.
4. Flushed and shock disinfected the well and distribution system. After the initial shock disinfection and purging of the well, the well was treated with a citric-acid-based cleaner to remove the manganese coating. At this time the color of the water turned from black/brown to pink, i.e., the many colors of manganese.


1. Water quality returned to normal, except dissolved manganese was still elevated above Secondary Drinking Water Standards.
2. Well yield and Specific Capacity increased.
3. Water treatment at least filtration to remove manganese was suggested and we also recommended upgrading the well cap to a sanitary well cap.

Case Study 2 >
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