RRC Investigation Does Not Indicate High H2S Levels at Boehmer Lake

April 08, 2022

AUSTIN – Recent reports state that a water well believed to be the source of Boehmer Lake in Pecos County in West Texas has been releasing unusually high amounts of hydrogen sulfide.

The RRC has not received any information to support these claims.

The reports state that readings as high as 14,000 parts per million were recorded at the site. Levels above 700 ppm would mean sudden unconsciousness and above 1,000 ppm would result in “nearly instant death,” according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The RRC has been investigating a prior complaint from the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District to determine whether the water well is affecting oil, gas or freshwater strata or if the well is polluted with mineral water. During a visit in January to Boehmer Lake as part of that investigation, RRC did not detect any H2S.

An RRC inspector and contractors inspected the lake and canal system and took water samples, all while wearing H2S monitors. Those monitors are designed to go off if they read H2S levels at or above 10 ppm. OSHA rules state that the allowable level for workers is 10 ppm or less.

The H2S monitors worn were not triggered, and neither RRC’s inspector nor contractors were harmed.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit https://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.