Nuisance Bacteria in the Well: It's Not Just About Coliforms

Presented on Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Due to their widespread occurrence in groundwater and well systems, the appearance of nuisance bacteria in wells is a common issue. Discoloration of the produced water, objectionable tastes, and odors are all indicative of bacterial fouling. While there are a number of bacteria capable of severely fouling a well, sulfate reducing bacteria, iron oxidizing bacteria, and anaerobic bacteria are the most important of these in relation to water well fouling. In the treatment of wells contaminated with nuisance bacteria, special attention should be paid to the kind of bacteria, their location in the well, and extent of the population. The severity of the fouling will affect the selection of well treatment methods. Monitoring the well through sampling and laboratory analysis following treatment is important due to the difficulty in thoroughly removing these organisms from the well system.

Kathleen M. Wiseman
Water Systems Engineering Inc., Ottawa, KS
Kathleen M. Wiseman has been with Water Systems Engineering Inc. since 1999, serving as assistant lab manager of the diagnostic and investigative research lab, and since 2007 as an environmental consultant, specializing in well remediation and source protection.
NGWA may only post those brown bag sessions, Webinars, event sessions, and like for which we have obtained copyright permission from the presenter. Furthermore, by accessing or downloading any of these items, you agree they are for your own personal use and may not be disseminated by any means to others via any medium. Click here to read NGWA's proprietary legend and disclaimers before proceeding.