High Levels of Hydrogen Sulfide Found in Dayton, Ohio, Wastewater System

Aug. 2, 2018

The city is concerned the high levels of contaminant, likely caused by industrial discharge, will erode the sewer lining

The water department of Dayton, Ohio, has declared an emergency in order to buy equipment necessary to combat dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide in the wastewater collection system. Hydrogen sulfide has been found in a sewer interceptor on Wagner Ford Road and is more than 2,000 ppm, significantly higher than the 100 ppm threshold for toxicity.

Officials say that while levels this high are dangerous, the general public will not be impacted as the problem is located in pipes underground, as reported by the Dayton Daily News. The immediate danger is to crews that work in the sewers. Dayton’s water department director, Michael Powell, warned that the most pressing concern is gas potentially eroding the sewer piping.

“We want to reduce it so not only is it a safe work environment, but also so it maintains the integrity of the sewer as well,” Powell said.

To combat the chemical, the city is planning to spend $850,000 on a plan that includes feeding magnesium hydroxide in the sewer and installing valving and piping to try to cool the interceptor and discharge. The chemicals may be linked to Cargill and Tate & Lyle, industrial sites in the area, and could be prevented by pre-treating industrial discharge. Cargill and Tate & Lyle have agreed to help fund the efforts to reduce hydrogen sulfide in the sewer.

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