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Hydrogen Sulfide Exposure in Warren Township
Private Well Water Pathway



On April 22, 2002, a petition was submitted that asked the Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry (ATSDR) to evaluate ambient air hydrogen sulfide levels in the WarrenTownship, Ohio community. The petition noted exposure of children attending schools andresidents living in close proximity to Warren Hills Landfill/ Warren Recycling, Inc.(WHL/WRI), a local construction and demolition debris (C&DD) landfill, as a special concern[1]. ATSDR has addressed air issues in two public health consultations dated September 2002and November 2003, as well as at a community meeting on June 27, 2003.

During ATSDR's first meeting in Warren Township on August 8, 2002, residents expressedconcerns about an "egg-like" odor in their water [2]. In response, the Ohio Department of Health(ODH) collected water samples from 15 residential wells (November 14-15). This healthconsultation will address the impact of water off-gassing hydrogen sulfide into residential homesand if exposure may impact the health of residents. Additionally, the document will evaluatemetals and water quality analysis performed on the residential well samples. Schools in the areaof concern use city water and do not rely on private wells for drinking water.

Site-specific conditions can affect groundwater quality. Such conditions include land formationssuch as hills, valleys, and planes (physiography), soils and rock formations (geology), movementof water through geologic formations (hydrogeology), and other potential influences ongroundwater quality (e.g., area industry). We will review the site geology, physiography, andhydrogeology to determine if it is likely that the landfill can be impacting private well quality.The impact of area oil and gas wells on water quality will also be assessed.


Private Well Water Quality in the vicinity of the Warren Recycling Landfill

Sampling Locations and Sampling Methods

Most residents living within 2 miles of WHL/WRI are on city water. At two communitymeetings, ATSDR and ODH requested that private well owners volunteer for well testing. Fifteen residential wells were tested in the impacted area. The wells that were sampled arelocated south, west, and north of the WHL/WRI facility (see map in Appendix C). Consentforms were obtained from each property owner prior to testing. Water samples were collected inthe basement sink, or bathroom or kitchen sink if there was no basement. To establish a worst-case scenario, all treatment systems were bypassed. No background samples were collected. Thewaterlines were flushed for 20 minutes before a water sample was collected to ensure that thesample was representative of groundwater quality.

Samples were handled, stored, and shipped in accordance with applicable Ohio EPA Guidelines.Wells were tested according to Ohio EPA Drinking and Ground Water methods. ODH sentindividual results, along with a letter interpreting the results, to each home that participated. The letters were mailed in April 2003 prior to a community meeting to inform the community of theresults.

Air monitoring during well water sampling was conducted to determine if any of thecontaminants present could off-gas (volatilize out of the water and into the air) and be inhaled byresidents. Therefore, to record gas levels, ATSDR and USEPA Emergency Response Team'sResponse, Engineering, and Analytical Contractor (REAC) conducted air monitoring during theflushing of the water systems and during sampling. MultiRAE Plus hand-held air monitoringinstruments were used to measure real-time concentrations of hydrogen sulfide, and the presenceof volatile organic compounds (VOCs ) and oxygen content (in volume %). The MultiRAE Plusis a programmable multi-gas monitor designed to provide continuous exposure monitoring inparts per million (ppm) range. The monitoring took place in basements, bathrooms, or otherliving areas while waterlines were being flushed before sampling.

Site Physiography and Hydrogeology

This section will explain how these factors impact groundwater in Warren Township. Please notethat a glossary which defines some of the terms used in this discussion can be found in Appendix F.


The area under investigation, at the western edge of the City of Warren in Warren Township, isflat, with an average elevation of 900 feet above sea level. The entire area of concern is withinthe Mahoning River watershed (the land area that drains into a water source). The WHL/WRIproperty is drained by two north-south flowing tributary streams: Duck Creek to the west of thefacility and South Leavitt Road, and Mud Creek to the east. These streams flow 1,500 feet to thenorth to the Mahoning River (Appendix A). Surface and shallow subsurface soils on theWHL/WRI property form level areas or gentle slopes. They are poorly drained and are clay-rich,with minor amounts of silt and fine sand [3]. Prior to the beginning of land-filling operations inthe mid-1990s, the WHL/WRI property consisted primarily of a swampy, wetlands area, with alarge pond at the north-central edge (Brick Pond). Prior to land filling operations, this largepond was connected by a bow-shaped drainage way to a smaller pond to the west, in a residentialarea immediately south of Elm Street [3]. WHL/WRI is situated in a low, poorly drained, formerwetlands area, but the property is outside of the 500-year flood plain of the Mahoning River asdelineated by National Flood Insurance Program maps [4,5].

Land filling operations at the WHL/WRI Site have resulted in two large mounds of waste. Theclosed landfill area at the northern edge of the WHL/WRI property, directly west of the WasteTransfer Building, is built in a west to east direction, and is 1,800 feet long, 800 feet wide, and30-40 feet high. The active landfill area is roughly 800 feet to the south-southwest of the closedlandfill, immediately south of the Brick Pond. As of February 2003, this mounded area was1,000 feet long, 600 feet wide, and 30 feet high. In addition to mounding the wastes up as highas 40 feet above the ground surface, the landfill operators also initially disposed of waste inexcavations as deep as 15 feet below the ground surface. These waste mounds drain primarily toward the northwest corner of the WRI property (based on a review of topographic maps) mostlikely into the Brick Pond and eventually to the smaller pond just south of Elm Street. The southflank of the active landfill appears to drain off to the southwest, toward a small, intermittent,west-flowing tributary of Duck Creek, just south of Choctaw Avenue. It is possible that throughthese drainage sources, that untreated leachate is migrating offsite. However, leachate is unlikelyto impact residential wells because wells tap into a "confined" aquifer (see explanation below),unless this confining layer were somehow compromised.

Site-Specific Hydrogeology

The glacial soils near the WHL/WRI property consist of 35 to 120 feet of largely impermeableclays and clay-rich till (mixed glacial soils) with a thin, discontinuous water-bearing saturatedsand layer near the underlying shale bedrock. Soil boring data for the WHL/WRI property,however, indicate that the entire 30-35 foot thick, glacial section was typically damp or wet,including the clay-rich portions in the upper 15 feet [9]. The inability of the lacustrine clay andclay-rich glacial till to hold and transmit groundwater and the discontinuous nature of theunderlying sand layer make the glacial soils at the site a potentially poor drinking water source.

A review of ODNR well logs for area residential wells, as well as the Groundwater ResourcesTrumbull County map [14], indicates that almost every residential well in the Warren Township-WHL/WRI vicinity obtains water from the underlying Cuyahoga Formation bedrock. Most ofthese wells are 'low-yielding wells,' typically generating 10 gallons of water per minute or less,but they provide enough water to supply individual households. Private wells in the vicinity ofthe WHL/WRI facility range from 50 to 210 feet in depth, but average between 100 and 125 feetand are typically cased to some depth within the bedrock. Well logs were obtained for 5 of the15 sampled residential wells and indicate shafts from 100 to 190 feet in depth, averaging about150 feet. Water levels in these wells indicate that the bedrock aquifer that is the source of thedrinking water in these wells is operating under "confined conditions", separated from thesurface by impermeable clay-rich layers. "Confined aquifers" are generally not directly affectedby surface contamination. Compared to other groundwater-bearing bedrock formations in Ohio,Cuyahoga Formation groundwater quality is typically only fair, with somewhat elevated levelsof iron, manganese, sulfate, and total dissolved solids [15].

Although there are clay and clay-rich soils of varying thickness underlying the WHL/WRIfacility, there is uncertainty about whether this clay layer is a continuous barrier to the migrationof landfill contaminants into the underlying drinking water aquifer. In addition, excavationactivities in the landfill may have compromised the integrity of this "natural barrier". Therefore,the question of whether landfill activities have impacted the drinking water source for thiscommunity will only be answered with a more complete hydrogeologic investigation of thelandfill property. Such an investigation will require the installation and sampling of on-site monitoring wells.

Local Oil and Gas Wells

Data obtained from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) indicate that 15 oil and gaswells are in the general vicinity of the WHL/WRI facility. Five of these wells are located either onor adjacent to the WHL/WRI property [10]. Oil and gas wells can be a source of naturally occurringhydrogen sulfide gas. Review of the ODNR data indicated that all of these wells are drilled into the "Clinton Sandstone" geologic zone to an average depth of 4,500 feet belowground surface. Most wells became operational between 1987 and 1989. These wells pump anaverage of 200 to 400 barrels of oil and 9,000 to 11,000 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.The Clinton Sandstone, while a prime source of natural gas, is not known to produce significantquantities of "sour gas" or hydrogen sulfide. In October 2002, Ohio EPA Northeast District staff andODNR Oil and Gas staff inspected a number of the oil and gas wells on or near the WHL/WRIfacility for hydrogen sulfide gas. Although a strong hydrogen sulfide odor was detected in theambient air on-site at the WHL/WRI facility, no significant quantities of hydrogen sulfide weredetected coming from vents associated with these oil and gas wells, including the gas well at thenorthwest corner of the WHL/WRI property. Therefore, it does not appear that they are a significantsource of hydrogen sulfide for ambient air.It is unknown if these wells, through fracturing toextract natural gas and petroleum, could be impacting area groundwater quality. Currently, there isno evidence that local oil and gas wells have impacted the local environment, including the bedrock aquifer system.


Water Quality Analysis

All well water samples contained several metals and inorganic compounds commonly found ingroundwater. The levels detected were compared to ATSDR health-based guidelines as well as toUSEPA drinking water guidelines and standards. The ATSDR health-based guidelines included theEnvironmental Media Evaluation Guide (EMEG) and the Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide (CREG)for non-cancer and cancer effects, respectively.

The USEPA drinking water guidelines used in this evaluation included the Maximum ContaminantLevels (MCLs and the Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels (SMCLs). MCLs are enforceablestandards of contaminant concentrations in public drinking water supplies. Although theseregulatory standards only apply to public drinking water and not to private wells, they still providea basis for comparison for well water safety in Warren Township. SMCLs, on the other hand, arenon-enforceable guidelines for regulating contaminants. Exceeding the SMCLs could affectdrinking water by causing cosmetic effects (such as skin or tooth discoloration) or aesthetic effects(taste, odor, or color).

All of the wells had fairly saline (salty) water, with sodium content in one well as high as 510,000ppb (parts per billion or micrograms per liter. No metal concentrations exceeded ATSDR health-based guidelines. One well exceeded the USEPA MCL of 15 ppb for lead in public drinking watersupplies (at 25 ppb), but all of the other metals detected were below MCLs. ODH and the TrumbullCounty Health Department notified the owner of this exceedance. The home owner was advised tohave a plumber evaluate his water distribution system and/or contact a water treatment companywith regard to a treatment system that would remove the lead prior to the tap. Most cation-exchange water softener systems will efficiently remove lead from a drinking water supply [11].

Out of 15 wells, USEPA's SMCLs were slightly exceeded for manganese (1 well), iron (5 wells),sulfates (5 wells), and total dissolved solids (12 wells). These data are presented in Appendix B,Table 1. Certain water filtration systems will help to reduce the level of metals and other substancesthat might affect the taste of well water. None of these wells pose a health threat to the residentsusing them for drinking water, although the recorded levels of sulfates and total dissolved solids(TDS) could adversely impact water quality in these wells.

Well logs indicate that many of the wells in this area are cased 25-40 feet through the interveningglacial cover and they penetrate into the underlying bedrock. All wells with elevated sulfate andTDS levels appear to draw water from the same interval within the Cuyahoga Formation aquifer.Most wells in the vicinity of Raveloe Court, West Market Street, and the north end of South Leavittwere constructed in the mid 1950s or the early 1970s [6]. Comparisons to sandstone bedrockaquifer systems sampled as part of the Ohio EPA Ambient Groundwater Network indicate that anumber of these wells exceeded the maximum levels of sulfates (>322 ppm) and TDS (>1,100 ppm)recorded for wells in eastern Ohio [7,8]. The wells with elevated sulfate and TDS levels are in thesame neighborhoods that have reported the most odor complaints and the greatest number of healthcomplaints [2]. They are also the wells closest to the mounded land filled waste piles at theWHL/WRI site [12,13]. See the map in Appendix C to view these data.

It is important to note several limitations of these data. It is not appropriate to directly compare theresults of one home to another given inherent variation in the samples. For example, each of thehomes had a different water flow rate, and the temperature of the water in each case was different.These issues could influence the levels of contaminants detected in the water samples.

Indoor Air Results

In general, sulfates in groundwater could be converted by bacteria to form hydrogen sulfide. If thewater is aerated (e.g., showering), hydrogen sulfide will escape into the indoor air. As confirmed byair monitoring during well water sampling, some homes had a noticeable hydrogen sulfide odor off-gassing while tap water was running. The highest air concentrations of this compound would beexpected during heavy water usage. Air readings were collected every five minutes while the waterlines were flushed.

Hydrogen sulfide was detected off-gassing from water taps in 12 of the 15 wells tested, with peaklevels ranging from 1.0-8.0 ppm [12]. High water usage (e.g., showering, laundry, etc.) in anenclosed environment can result in short-term exposures to hydrogen sulfide in levels greater than 1ppm, as demonstrated by data collected during the water investigation.Flushing water pipes for 15to 20 minutes resulted in measurable hydrogen sulfide as high as 8 ppm in one home.

The data discussed indicate that hydrogen sulfide gas is present in the aquifer (geologic formation)residents use for drinking water, however, it is also possible that nearby industry may also beimpacting the hydrogen sulfide levels. The relative contributions of these potential hydrogen sulfidesources is unknown. Some long-time residents indicated that the odor in drinking water was presentbefore the landfill was developed; others associated the odor in drinking water with landfillconstruction and with area oil and saltwater injection wells.

The elevated gas detected in homes during real-time monitoring was hydrogen sulfide. Thesource of the hydrogen sulfide appears to be the water-levels were detected while the tap waterwas on and were not detected when tap water was off. However, indoor odors can also occur bythe permeation of hydrogen sulfide from outdoor to indoor air. Many residents on city water (notresidential wells) complained of hydrogen sulfide odors from outside "getting trapped" indoors,where it would not completely dissipate for hours. Thus, there are both indoor and outdoorsources for residential exposure to hydrogen sulfide for residents who have untreated well water.

These data have the same limitations as those discussed in the well sampling section. Levels ofhydrogen sulfide off-gassing from the well are likely influenced by the water flow rate andtemperature. For example, hot water is more often associated with the odor than cold water.Although all air samples were collected during what would be considered a typical period forbathing (20 minutes), variation in data make it inappropriate to compare the levels detected inthese homes to one another. However, this information gives important evidence regardingexposure of these families to hydrogen sulfide in their groundwater.



Sodium is an essential nutrient that is involved in the control of blood pressure. Excessivesodium intake can cause high blood pressure. Sodium is needed for the muscles and nerves tofunction properly. The FDA's recommended daily sodium intake for adults is 2400 mg. Bydrinking 2 liters of private well water per day, Warren Township residents would consume fromapproximately 200 mg to 1000 mg of sodium in addition to sodium consumed through food. Ifresidents use water softeners, the sodium level in the water will be even higher. WarrenTownship residents should be aware that drinking well water with elevated sodium levelsincreases their sodium intake. Those who already are on a sodium-restricted diet should consulttheir health professionals.

Hydrogen sulfide

Under normal conditions, hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, flammable gas. In air, one can smellhydrogen sulfide at extremely low levels (0.0005 ppm (or 0.5 ppb)). The odor is usually characterized as smelling like 'rotten eggs.' The detection of an odor does not necessarily meanthat hydrogen sulfide is present at a level that would affect a person's health. Hydrogen sulfideoccurs naturally as a constituent of crude petroleum, natural gas, and volcanic gases. In addition,it is often the result of bacterial breakdown of organic matter. Industrial sources of hydrogensulfide include petroleum refineries, natural gas plants, and landfills [16].

The hydrogen sulfide in area residential wells is naturally occurring in the geologic formationsof the drinking water source aquifer. It also can result from the impacts of oil and gas wells andlandfilling operations. In Ohio, sulfur compounds often occur usually in the same places as oil,gas, and coal deposits [17]. Shallow, poorly constructed wells or those close to sewer lines andseptic systems can become contaminated with sewage and can develop hydrogen sulfideproblems [18,19].

As discussed previously, some homes had elevated hydrogen sulfide off-gassing from their wellsHealth effects can occur from hydrogen sulfide exposures. Short-term exposures to high levelsof hydrogen sulfide can cause adverse health effects. For example, bronchial constriction wasobserved in 2 out of 10 asthmatics exposed to 2 ppm hydrogen sulfide for 30 minutes [20]. Otherstudies have documented respiratory distress in an occupational setting with exposures of greaterthan 40 ppm hydrogen sulfide and changes in oxygen uptake and shortness of breath in subjectsexposed to between 5 and 10 ppm hydrogen sulfide for short periods of time [21-25]. A recentstudy examining health effects in a community exposed to low levels of hydrogen sulfide hasnoted an increase in asthma-related hospital visits among children following days whenhydrogen sulfide levels are above 0.03 ppm [26].

Precautions can be taken to reduce these exposures, including water treatment and ventilation.Most of the homes tested have water treatment systems that would reduce or remove thehydrogen sulfide gas. In fact, many residents whose homes had treated water did not notice the 'rotten-egg' smell in their water.


ATSDR recognizes that in communities faced with contamination of air, water, soil, or food, theunique vulnerabilities of infants and children demand special emphasis. ATSDR is committed toevaluating the health impact of environmental contamination on children. The ambient air inhomes where air monitoring was conducted is of health concern to children. Children could be orcurrently are exposed to elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide during bathing or other periods ofhigh water usage. If parents notice that their children become ill during these brief exposureperiods, water treatment or bathroom ventilation is recommended.


Residential wells in the Warren Township area tap into a geologic formation known to have only "fair" water quality. Moreover, compared to other groundwater-bearing formations in Ohio, the Warren Township area has naturally elevated concentrations of iron, manganese, sulfate, and total dissolved solids. Based on current data, ATSDR classified groundwater in this area "no apparent health hazard". Additional data identifying sources other than natural geologic formations may require a re-evaluation of exposures in this community. Also based on the available private well data, ATSDR concludes that:

  1. Some residents can be exposed to hydrogen sulfide from gases coming out of their wells and intotheir homes. Although brief and intermittent, this exposure could cause short-term health effects such as headaches or respiratory effects.

  2. It is not known whether Warren Recycling, Inc. is contributing to underground migration of hydrogen sulfide gas offsite into the community. The hydrogen sulfide gas detected in residentialwells may likely be attributable to naturally occurring sources. On-site groundwater sampling isnecessary to determine whether or not the landfill is having any adverse impacts on groundwater and area residential wells.

  3. Area oil and gas wells do not appear to be significant contributors to ambient levels of hydrogen sulfide in ambient air.

  4. Lead was the only metal that exceeded enforceable water standards in a single home. This resident was given treatment options that would remove lead from their drinking water.

  5. Sodium levels (although not elevated above drinking water guidelines) were sufficiently elevated that residents who are currently on sodium-restricted diets should consult with their health professionals about the sodium content in their water.

  6. Other than lead and sodium, concentrations of metals and other water quality parameters in the sampled residential wells do not represent a health concern.


  • Ohio EPA should require the facility to install and sample onsite monitoring wells todetermine if landfill contaminants are impacting offsite groundwater. (Note: Ohio EPA has includedthis as a requirement under its Consent Order with WHL/WRI signed July 1, 2003)

  • ATSDR and ODH should regularly review sampling data from onsite monitoring wells todetermine if levels of contaminants in groundwater or ambient air pose a hazard to arearesidents.


If you smell hydrogen sulfide coming from your water supply, you might be exposed to hydrogensulfide. You can reduce exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas by practicing the following precautions:

  • While bathing or showering, try to ventilate the bathroom. This can be done with the use ofbathroom ventilation fans, by cracking the door during showering or bathing or, during the warmermonths, by opening a bathroom window.

  • Attempt to ventilate the basement or laundry room if, while washing or folding clothes, younotice a sulfur odor. This can be done with a fan or, when the weather is warm, by openingwindows, doors or vents.

  • Residents who are concerned about hydrogen sulfide odors inside their homes should consultwith a water-treatment professional. Water treatment can significantly reduce or eliminatehydrogen sulfide odors emitted from well water. Some filtration options are presented inAppendix E. A list of water treatment companies certified by the Ohio Department of Health isavailable by calling 614-466-1390 or on their Web site at: (scroll down until you see the page for Trumbull County).


Michelle A. Colledge, MPH
Environmental Health Scientist
Office of Regional Operations, Region 5

Bob Frey, PhD
Chief, Health Assessment Section
Bureau of Environmental Health
Ohio Department of Health

Reviewed by:

Wallace Sagendorph
Office of Policy and External Affairs

Mark D. Johnson, PhD
Senior Environmental Health Scientist/Toxicologist
Office of Regional Operations, Region 5

Tina Forrester, PhD
Acting Director
Division of Regional Operations

Susan Moore, PhD
Section Chief
Health Consultations Section


  1. April 2002 letter from petitioner to Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

  2. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Record of public availability session,Warren Township, Ohio; August 6, 2002.

  3. US Department of Agriculture. Soil survey of Trumbull County, Ohio. (N.L. Williams,ODNR Division of Soil & Water Conservation). 256 p + maps, aerial photographs. 1992.

  4. National Flood Insurance Program. Flood hazard boundary map H0102 and flood insurancerate map I0102, City of Warren, Ohio (Trumbull County). Panel #390541A. US Department ofHousing and Urban Development; 1977.

  5. National Flood Insurance Program. Flood insurance rate map, unincorporated areas,Trumbull County, Ohio. Panel # 390535 0175B. US Department of Housing and UrbanDevelopment; 1978.

  6. Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water. Well logs in Warren Township,Ohio. Available at: Last accessed May2003.

  7. Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Bedrock topography of the Warren, OhioQuadrangle. Open File Map BT-D1B7. Columbus, Ohio: Division of Geologic Survey; 1996.

  8. Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Bedrock topography of the Newton Falls, OhioQuadrangle. Open File Map BT-D1B8. Columbus, Ohio: Division of Geologic Survey; 1996.

  9. Paul C. Rizzo Associates, Inc. Facility license application for Warren RecyclingConstruction and Demolition Debris Disposal Facility. Monroeville, Pennsylvania: 1998.

  10. Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Oil and gas well emergency response system.Available at: Last accessed May 2003.

  11. McGowan W. Residential water processing, a reference handbook. Lisle, Illinois: WaterQuality Association; 1997. p. 289.

  12. Ohio Department of Health. Private Well Division. Raw data package of groundwatersampling results. Columbus, Ohio: November 14-15, 2002.

  13. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Raw data package of air samplingresults. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services; November 14-15, 2002.

  14. Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Division of Water. Groundwater resources map ofTrumbull County. Columbus, Ohio: Water Resources Section; 1996.

  15. Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Division of Drinking Water and Groundwater. Last accessed November 2002.

  16. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for hydrogensulfide. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services; 1999.

  17. The Ohio State University. Hydrogen sulfide in drinking water fact sheet. AEX-319-97.Columbus, Ohio; 2001.

  18. Texas Agricultural Extension. June 1999. Hydrogen sulfide in drinking water: causes andtreatment alternatives. College Station, Texas: Texas A & M University System; June 1999.

  19. Virginia Cooperative Extension. Household water quality: hydrogen sulfide in householdwater. Publication Number 356-488. Blacksburg, Virginia: Virginia Polytechnic Institute andState University.

  20. Jappinen P, Vilkka V, Marttila O, Haahtela T. 1990. Exposure to hydrogen sulfide andrespiratory function. Br J Ind Med 1990;(47):824-828.

  21. Spolyar LW. 1951. Three men overcome by hydrogen sulfide in starch plant. Ind. HealthMonthly. 1951;11(8):116-17.

  22. Bhambhani Y, Singh M. 1991. Physiological effects of hydrogen sulfide inhalation duringexercise in healthy men. J Appl Physiol 1991;71(5):1872-77.

  23. Bhambhani Y, Burnham R, Snydmiller G, et al. 1994. Comparative physiological responsesof exercising men and women to 5 ppm hydrogen sulfide exposure. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1994;55:1030-35.

  24. Bhambhani Y, Burnham R, Snydmiller G, et al. 1996a. Effects of 10-ppm hydrogen sulfideinhalation on pulmonary function in health men and women. J Occup Environ Med 1996;38:1012-17.

  25. Bhambhani Y, Burnham R, Snydmiller G, et al. 1996. Effects of 5 ppm hydrogen sulfideinhalation on biochemical properties of skeletal muscle in exercising men and women. Am IndHyg Assoc J 1996; 57:464-68.

  26. Campagna D, Kathman S, Pierson R, et al. 2001. Impact of ambient hydrogen sulfide andtotal reduced sulfur levels on hospital visits for respiratory diseases among children and adults inDakota City and South Sioux City, Nebraska. American Thoracic Society, ATS 2001, 97thInternational Conference, San Francisco, California; 2001.

  27. New York State Department of Health. 1999. Hydrogen sulfide: chemical information sheet.Albany, New York: 1999.

  28. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public health assessment regarding PortWashington Landfill, North Hampstead, Nassau County, New York. Atlanta: US Department ofHealth and Human Services; 1995.


Demographic Statistics
Figure 1. Demographic Statistics

Vicinity Map
Figure 2. Vicinity Map


Table 1. Detected Metals and Water Quality Parameters (all concentrations in part per billion (ppb))

Sample ID# Arsenic Cadmium Iron Lead Manganese Sodium Sulfate TDS
Comparison Value¶§†* 10 5 300§ 15 500 20* 250§ 500§
RW-01 ND ND 358.0 ND 0.6 300.0 ND 760.0
RW-02 ND ND ND ND ND 450.0 ND 1,100.0
RW-03 ND ND 225.0 ND 47.0 300.0 157.0 850.0
RW-04 ND ND ND ND 39.0 470.0 293.0 1,400.0
RW-05 ND ND 146.0 ND ND 460.0 295.0 1,200.0
RW-06 ND ND ND ND ND 390.0 140.0 1,000.0
RW-07 ND ND 420.0 ND ND 110.0 ND 300.0
RW-08 ND ND 459.0 ND ND 100.0 ND 290.0
RW-09 ND ND ND ND ND 340.0 87.0 890.0
RW-10 ND ND 303.0 ND ND 440.0 617.0 1,500.0
RW-11 ND ND 222.0 ND 30.0 510.0 710.0 1,900.0
RW-12 ND ND ND ND ND 350.0 ND 850.0
RW-13 ND ND ND 6.0 ND 280.0 ND 690.0
RW-14 ND ND ND 25.0 ND 200.0 ND 490.0
RW-15 ND ND 1,780.0 ND 141.0 440.0 381.0 1,600.0

Note: highlighted concentrations are elevated above comparison values.
ND = below the detection limit of the monitoring instrument, or not detected
ppb = parts contaminant per billion parts water
ppm = parts contaminant per million parts water
Guideline is a USEPA enforceable drinking water standard (MCL or Maximum Contaminant Level).
§ Guideline is a non health-based, non-enforceable standard (SMCL: Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level)
* USEPA's Drinking Water Equivalent Level (DWEL)
ATSDR's Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide (RMEG)

Table 2. Peak Hydrogen Sulfide Levels Measured During Water Sampling

Hydrogen sulfide levels in parts per million (ppm)
Sample ID # Concentration§
RW-01 <1
RW-02 <1
RW-03 3.0
RW-04 8.0
RW-05 7.0
RW-06 1.0
RW-07 0.0
RW-08 2.0
RW-09 7.0
RW-10 1.0
RW-11 1.0
RW-12 1.0
RW-13 1.0
RW-14 3.0
RW-15 4.0

Highest concentration detected of the grab sample collected at each location.
ppm = parts contaminant per million parts water
Sample ID numbers are consistent with the previous table (for example, RW-01 in Table 1 is the same location as RW-01 in Table 2).
§ Minimum detection limit of the instrument was 1 ppm. Concentrations may be present at levels lower than 1 ppm and may not have been detected by the sampling instrument.


Water Sample Handling and Storage

Samples were handled, stored, and shipped in accordance with applicable Ohio EPA guidelines.Specimens were transported on ice and delivered to the lab within the required holding time (24hours).

Laboratory Analysis

The Ohio EPA Drinking Water Laboratory Certification Program is managed by two divisionswith Ohio EPA: the Division of Environmental Services, Laboratory Certification Section andDivision of Drinking and Ground Waters. All water samples were collected by Ohio Departmentof Health, who contracted with Ohio Department of Agriculture Drinking Water Lab, foranalysis. Water samples were analyzed for metals, nitrate/nitrite, sulfate, alkalinity, and totaldissolved solids; using methods in accordance with Ohio EPA Drinking and Ground Waters. Adetailed list of the analytes and analysis method is provided in the table below.

Analytes Testing Methods
Aluminum SM 3111 B
Arsenic SM 3113 B
Barium EPA 200.7
Cadmium SM 3113 B
Calcium EPA 200.7
Chromium SM 3113 B
Copper EPA 200.7
Iron EPA 200.7
Lead SM 3113 B
Magnesium EPA 200.7
Manganese EPA 200.7
Nitrate/Nitrite EPA 353.2
Potassium EPA 200.7
Sodium SM 3111 B
Strontium EPA 200.7
Sulfate EPA 375.2
Alkalinity SM 2320 B
Total Dissolved Solids SM 2540 C

SM= Standard Method


Sample collection, storage, and analysis descriptions were documented on the chain-of-custodyforms. The originals of these forms were sent to the laboratory with the sample. Laboratoryanalysis was conducted with method-specific QA/QC requirements.

Consent Forms

Consent from the property owner was obtained by Ohio Department of Health prior to sampling.

Residential Notification

Each resident was mailed the results from their well testing along with a letter interpreting themeaning of the data. This occurred well before the public meeting regarding the groundwater results.


A porous and permeable underground layer of soil or rock that can be a source of drinking water due to its ability to store and transmit usable quantities of freshwater.

A layer of solidified rock. Common types of bedrock in Ohio includes shale, siltstone,sandstone, limestone, and coal seams.

Bedrock Topography Map:
An areal map showing the features (highs and lows) of the top of the bedrock surface in a givenarea

A solid piece of piping, usually steel or PVC plastic, used to keep a well open in loose soils or in poorly cemented or fractured bedrock.

Cation-exchange Water Softener System:
An in-home water treatment system that removes inorganic compounds and metals (cadmium,calcium, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, sodium, and zinc) from tapwater.

A layer of rock distinguished by the occurrence of unique physical and chemical features,including rock type, grain size (or texture), mineral composition, color, and resistance toweathering (chemical and physical break-down).

The study of the Earth, including its component parts (rocks and minerals) and its processes(rock and soil formation, weathering and erosion, earthquakes, volcanism, mountain-building,etc.).

Glacial Soils:
Uncemented, loose soils typically made up of gravel, sand, silt and clay, that formed as the resultof the activities of large masses of ice (glaciers) that covered Ohio between 2 million and 14,000years ago.

Glacial Till:
A type of glacial soil composed of poorly-sorted mixtures of gravel, sand, silt, and clay.

Water contained in porous and permeable underground layers of soil and/or rock.

The study of how groundwater flows through soils and rocks.

Low-yield wells:
Water supply wells that provide less than 25 gallons per minute of water. Usually enough toprovide for the needs of a typical residential household but not enough for industrial ormunicipal uses.

The ability of the internal structure of soils or rocks to allow for the flow of fluids, especiallygroundwater, through these materials.

The study of land forms; the nature of the surface of the Earth.

The ability of the internal structure of soils or rocks to hold and store fluids, especiallygroundwater.

Potable water:
Water whose quality is such that it is safe for human use and has acceptable qualities of taste,odor, color, and clarity.

Soils or bedrock layers that have their pore space filled with groundwater.

Water Quality:
A measure of how good drinking water is computable, based on taste, odor, color, clarity, andthe amount of dissolved minerals present in the water.

All of the surrounding land area that is drained by a particular stream or river.

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