Contamination and Pollution

Bioremediation is the process by which microbes (generally bacteria) or plants transform a harmful water contaminant into a non-harmful substance, much as we turn sugar into carbon dioxide and water. Bioremediation can help clean up ground water...
Methane is a gas composed of carbon and hydrogen. It has the chemical formula CH4. Methane originates from several different sources.  Microbial methane is produced through biologic decomposition of organic matter at shallow depths and without extensive...
The U.S. Geological Survey is responsible for providing the reliable and impartial scientific information on geologic and hydrologic processes affecting mineral deposits, mine lands, and water quality.The studies conducted by the USGS benefits agencies...
Methane gas – whether microbial or thermogenic -- can migrate into water wells along with the groundwater if underground conditions are favorable for it. If biogenic or thermogenic methane is present underground and in contact with the groundwater, the...
The concerns about high concentrations of methane in water wells focus on the potential of this colorless and odorless gas to accumulate in confined spaces and act as an asphyxiant or become flammable or explosive in confined spaces containing oxygen and...
USGS has several ongoing efforts to monitor methane in groundwater, we have completed several others, and we are doing basic research into detecting methane in streams as a tool to map methane leaking from underground.
As a government agency, the USGS does not comment on commercial products, but many organizations evaluate consumer products and post product reports on the Internet. NSF International (which EPA and others established for the purpose of certifying water...
The EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water Web page Drinking water and health: What you need to know has a link to 'What are the health effects of contaminants in drinking water?' This link connects you to fact sheets for many contaminants.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) lists several ways to purify water for human consumption on their Community and Family Preparedness Web page. Also, the EPA fact sheet Emergency disinfection of drinking water is available in English and...
USGS scientists have discovered that the atmosphere is a potential source of the low concentrations of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) detected in shallow ground water in southern New Jersey. The scientists measured atmospheric concentrations of MTBE from...