How to Test for Methane in the Water

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Methane gas can be found in the water of many homes that get their water from a well. The methane naturally occurring or results of industrial processes such as gas drilling, landfill decomposition and wastewater treatment. If you suspect your water contains methane gas, the most reliable way to find out is to hire a certified testing company to conduct an analysis of your water. But you can conduct a simple test yourself that will give an indication of whether your water contains methane gas.

  • Get a large plastic container with a narrow neck that can be sealed off.

  • Fill the container with the water you wish to test. Leave a few inches of air at the top.

  • Seal the container immediately.

  • Wait about half an hour to allow any methane gas to accumulate at the top of the containers.

  • Open the container and immediately pass a lit match over the opening. If you see a brief flame at the opening of the container, you probably have methane in your water.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can find a list of companies in your area that are certified to conduct methane detection by contacting your local or state health department.
  • While methane gas in drinking water is not considered a health hazard, the accumulation of methane gas in your home or other enclosed spaces could be an explosion hazard.

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  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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