Mary Alice Reporting – Conditions exist in the outlet works area at Tappan and Clendening Lakes that could result in the presence and possible release of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gases.

According to the Huntington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, hydrogen sulfide is a colorless gas that can be easily recognized by its “rotten egg” odor. Symptoms of exposure vary depending on the level and duration of exposure.  Low concentrations irritate the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory system. Asthmatics may experience breathing difficulties. Exposure to moderate concentrations can also cause fatigue, dizziness, nausea and headaches. Young children are at particular risk.

Hydrogen sulfide forms when the concentrations of sulfates in the watershed immediately behind these dams are higher than normal. This problem is normally confined to the area adjacent to the outlet works and is not known to pose a problem to recreational users of the lakes.

The Corps will monitor H2S levels at the outlet works.

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