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EPA sampled water in the area following requests from residents to ensure that there were no elevated contaminant levels
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed its sampling of private drinking water wells in Dimock, Pa., July 25. Data previously supplied to the agency by residents, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Cabot Oil and Gas Exploration had indicated the potential for elevated levels of water contaminants in wells, and following requests by residents, EPA sampled water in the area to ensure that there were not elevated levels of contaminants. Based on the outcome of that sampling, EPA has determined that there are not levels of contaminants present that would require additional action by the agency.
“The sampling and an evaluation of the particular circumstances at each home did not indicate levels of contaminants that would give EPA reason to take further action," said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. "Throughout EPA's work in Dimock, the agency has used the best available scientific data to provide clarity to Dimock residents and address their concerns about the safety of their drinking water.”
EPA visited Dimock in late 2011, surveyed residents regarding their private wells and reviewed hundreds of pages of drinking water data supplied to the agency by Dimock residents, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Cabot. Because data for some homes showed elevated contaminant levels and several residents expressed concern about their drinking water, EPA determined that well sampling was necessary to gather additional data and evaluate whether residents had access to safe drinking water.
Between January and June 2012, EPA sampled private drinking water wells serving 64 homes. At one of those wells, EPA found an elevated level of manganese in untreated well water. The two residences serviced by the well each have water treatment systems that can reduce manganese to levels that do not present a health concern.
During the sampling in Dimock, EPA found hazardous substances, specifically arsenic, barium or manganese—all of which are also naturally occurring substances—in well water at five homes at levels that could present a health concern. In all cases, the residents have now or will have their own treatment systems that can reduce concentrations of those hazardous substances to acceptable levels at the tap. EPA has provided the residents with all of their sampling results and has no further plans to conduct additional drinking water sampling in Dimock.
For more information on the results of sampling, visit http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/states/pa.html.