Wallenpaupack Hydrogen Sulfide Studies

Project Name: Lake Wallenpaupack Hydroelectric Project Hydrogen Sulfide Studies

Location: Hawley, PA

Client: PPL Generation. LLC

Services: Water Quality Monitoring

Project Summary:

Kleinschmidt conducted an extensive testing and data collection effort on hydrogen sulfide at the Lake Wallenpaupack Hydroelectric Project in northeastern Pennsylvania.  During the months of August and September, the Lake is thermally stratified, and anaerobic conditions in the Lake bottom are favorable for hydrogen sulfide formation. The Project intakes withdraw water from the Lake bottom, which results in a high-odor discharge into the Lackawaxen River.  

The goal of the study was to find the most efficient and cost-effective method to eliminate or reduce the hydrogen sulfide odor, while preserving the Project cold water release, which is needed to develop and support a year-round trout fishery in the Lackwaxen River. 

Kleinschmidt assembled and collaborated with a group of nationally-recognized water quality experts to develop data collection efforts and testing options. On-site and laboratory testing focused on several potential treatment methods for removing hydrogen sulfide from the water, including sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl)), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), sodium hydroxide (NaOH), and air addition. In addition to the lab testing, hydrogen sulfide behavior/chemistry in the Lake, the 3.5-mile long Project pipeline from the Lake to the powerhouse, and at the turbine release/tailrace was investigated.  Specific parameters measured included total sulfide, ferrous and total iron, total manganese, reactive phosphorus, sulfate, ammonia, pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), temperature, and conductivity. An in situ technology developed by the University of Delaware College of Marine Studies, which uses microelectrodes and voltammetry/electrochemical technology, was also employed to measure sulfides, iron, manganese, and DO in the water at various locations.