Well pits H2S4

   / Well pits H2S4 #1  


Platinum Member
Dec 23, 2009
Just thought since seen a couple here in Iowa died this past weekend, it might be time for a reminder to country folks who has there own well for water use.
Hydrogen Sulfide is an invisible gas that has a brief smell of rotten eggs at first. The reason at first is because the smell will deaden the sense of smell.

The pit was only 6' deep, for those who think that there well pit is shallow so no big deal. The husband went to work on the well, and wife found him unresponsive. She had called 911 from the well when they got there she had inhaled to much also.
These pits need to be opened for a period of time and ventilated before going in. Most people do not have access to oxygen sensor. The heavy rain, and humidity we are having does not help much with the ventilation.
You need to understand if some one goes down in that well, even after ventilating, some one needs to be on watch for you and NEVER ENTER WITH YOU. That person out side is the only one that can call for help. If they was to enter in same situation, they will find both of you when some one notices you missing.

If this is brought up here often, sorry just thought might be a good reminder.
New Information In Couple Killed In Well Case - Des Moines News Story - KCCI Des Moines
   / Well pits H2S4 #2  
Sad to read that.

Article said the gas hasn't been identified yet. Where would hydrogen sulfide come from in a well pit?

Maybe this is a septic tank, and not a well (thinking of a water well)?
   / Well pits H2S4
  • Thread Starter
My job is in water treatment. That is a well known problem in confined spaces below ground level. Back in 1993 we had a lot of floods, farmers would go down in well pit and die from the hydrogen sulfide. It can affect you a while after coming out of a area high in concentration.
Well water is high in hydrogen sulfide coming out of ground. This is natural. I am sure everyone has been somewhere in the country at one point and think some ones water stinks like rotten eggs or sulfur. That hydrogen sulfide can store in the pit area to the point it takes over oxygen level. You may get by a hundred years no problem, and then something happens and a big release of it. Bacteria in nature changes things back and forth through the natural cycles.