Hydraulic fracturing operations allow us to access valuable natural gas resources, but they also have the potential to affect another precious resource: water. Here Brian Oram, a professional geologist and founder of B.F. Environmental Consultants, discusses how fracking in Pennsylvania has affected private water wells.
Kate Cline: Why is it important for well owners to have their water tested?
The importance of baseline testing for drinking water wells
A company is only as good as the foundation it is built upon. In the Water Quality Assn.’s (WQA) case, the foundation of the organization is quite literally its laboratories. The Performance Lab, constructed in the basement of WQA’s Lisle, Ill., headquarters, conducts the first half of the testing of a unit seeking WQA certification. The Analytical Lab, also at the Lisle location, allows WQA to test samples on site in real time, providing the capability to see how a unit performs as it is running.
Onsite labs cover range of testing & certification needs
Wyoming to lead further investigation on drinking water quality in Pavillion, Wyo., with EPA support
The state of Wyoming announced that it would further investigate drinking water quality in the rural area east of Pavillion, Wyo. This will be done with the support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking, is a method of extracting natural gas from shale formations. Fracking has been around for many years, but recently, combining it with horizontal drilling has made it economically practical for gas extraction. While natural gas presents the U.S. with options to become more energy independent, there also are concerns about the process’s impact on the environment.
Fracking’s potential effects on drinking water supplies
The titration and ion chromatography system offers complete automation for testing properties and ions in drinking, ground, surface and wastewater. It minimizes operator time and simplifies sample analyses. The system combines the determination of up to 20 parameters from a single sample into an automated workflow. It determines conductivity, pH and alkalinity, and also can provide results for total hardness, ion balance and carbonate hardness.
Ultrapen PT3 is a new ORP and temperature tester. It is as accurate and stable as benchtop lab equipment and features “dip-and-scoop” sampling for standing bodies of water and vertical streams, providing real-time analysis before atmospheric and other environmental conditions can affect the chemistry of the sample. Constructed of durable aircraft aluminum, this pen is fully potted for extra protection with an easy-to-read LCD and one-button functions.
This microprocessor-based pH indicator-controller provides a complete monitoring and recording system for industrial wastewater. Two process controllers are provided to activate alarms, pumps, etc., based on preset pH or millivolt set points. The unit can be mounted with 1/8 DIN or in a NEMA 4X enclosure. The recorder can be configured for either a 24-hour or seven-day chart with 0 to 14 pH. The system can be provided complete with probe and buffer solutions to calibrate.
USGS study signals need for well owners to test, protect water
A report released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) showing that one in five private wells in Pennsylvania faces elevated arsenic levels, offered powerful incentive to test and ensure treatment, according to the Water Quality Assn (WQA).
According to USGS, “Eight percent of more than 5,000 wells tested across Pennsylvania contain groundwater with levels of arsenic at or above federal standards set for public drinking water, while an additional 12% — though not exceeding standards — show elevated levels,” said Dave Haataja, executive director of WQA.
The BioTector B3500c TOC analyzer offers process insights and incident alerts, environmental monitoring, energy optimization, product and water loss prevention, and boiler and plant protection. With patented two-stage advanced oxidation technology, it provides maximum reliability and uptime. The analyzer requires replacement every six months, has a compact footprint and can monitor two streams at the same time.
The COM-80 is an economically priced, water-resistant handheld tester for electrical conductivity and TDS, featuring four built-in modes (μS, mS, ppm and ppt). It also includes onscreen diagnostic messaging and temperature on a large four-digit LCD. The tester was co-designed in the U.S. and Korea and is backed by a one-year factory warranty.