Hydrogen sulfide, Water aeration, Water purification, Chlorination


The presence of hydrogen sulfide in a ground water source is noted by its rather obnoxious odor, similar to a "rotten egg". Concentrations as low as 0.05 ppm are noticeable, therefore, almost its entire removal is demanded prior to potable consumption. Hydrogen sulfide is formed primarily by the decomposition of organic matter in anaerobic conditions. Removal of this gas has been accomplished by means of aeration, detention, and chlorination over the years. The mechanisms behind each of these processes are complex and discussed in this paper. During the course of this investigation, a literature survey concerning the mature and sources of hydrogen sulfide, its removal by aeration and detention, and the experimental methodology has been conducted. Samples were collected from two ground water locations in Central Florida, namely City of Apopka Terrace Plant, and the City of Maitland Thistle Plant. These samples were taken before and after aeration and detained in containers similar to the storage tank dimensions. These samples were tested for Hydrogen Sulfide and pH with respect to time. The aerators were determined to remove 13 to 15 percent H2S, respectively. The pH values ranged between 7 - 8 prior to detention and rose slowly during H2S ionization to 8-8.6. Both locations were evaluated to determine the most economic operating conditions. Ideally, Apopka should be removing between 30 - 40 percent by means of aeration, and Maitland, between 40 - 50 percent. Chlorination will remove the remaining H2S. Although the existing aerators were operating less than their optimum removal range, they should remain in service. This is based on deducting the aerator "sunk costs" from the economic evaluation. Efforts should be encouraged to improve aerator efficiencies by increased agitation, contact time, and weir overflow rates in the aerator trays. These measures should increase the H2S reaction rate and improve its removal. Detention only removes the odor problem, but the chlorine demand still remains, as exerted by the forms HS- and S=.


If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at

Graduation Date



McLellon, Waldron M.


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering




63 p.




Public Domain

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)




Hydrogen sulfide, Water -- Aeration, Water -- Purification -- Chlorination

Collection (Linked data)

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Accessibility Status

Searchable text

Included in

Engineering Commons