Source of Methane
Methane (CH4), often called marsh gas, is the primary component of natural gas. It is commonly found where land fills once existed and is generated from decaying of plants or other carbon based matter. It can also be found in and around oil fields. Methane is colorless, odorless, nearly invisible, highly flammable, and often found in conjunction with other gases such as hydrogen sulfide. Even though methane gas gives water a milky appearance which makes it aesthetically unpleasant, there are no known health effects.
Treatment of Methane
Aeration or degasification is the only way to eliminate the problem of methane gas. Venting the casing and/or the cap of the well will reduce the problem of methane in the water, but may not completely eliminate it. Another method is to provide an atmospheric holding tank where the methane laden water cap be vented to allow the gas to dissipate. This method may not be 100% effective either. An aerator or degasifier is the proper piece of equipment to utilize for the removal of methane. Water is introduced through the top, sometimes through spray nozzles, and a1lowed to percolate through a packing material. Air is forced in the opposite direction to the water flow. The water is then collected in the bottom of the unit and repressurized.