Kate Cline is editor-in-chief of WQP. Cline can be reached at [email protected] or 847.391.1007.
Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is in the news once again, and thankfully, most of the new is good.
Duke University recently released the results of a study that tested drinking water wells in Pennsylvania for potential contamination. The good news: According to an Associated Press report on the study, the researchers found that the wells did not show contamination from the chemicals used in fracking operations, a fear of many living in the vicinity of drilling wells.
The study did find methane contamination in many of the water wells it tested, however, with levels an average of six times higher in wells near drilling operations. In the report, study co-author Rob Jackson pointed out that while methane pollution could be the result of faulty drilling, it also can occur due to natural causes. Approximately 80% of the wells tested had methane in the water, even though many were not near drilling sites.
This latest study underlines the importance of baseline testing for private drinking water wells located near fracking operations. This is the only way for well owners to be sure whether contamination occurred before or after drilling – not to mention, it will alert them to any water quality issues that need addressing, fracking or no fracking.
Do you have any experience with water wells near fracking sites? Tell us about it in the comments, or e-mail us at [email protected].
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