Friday, August 30, 2013

Pre-Drilling and Post-Drilling Water Testing Tips

glass of dirty water
If there is going to be drilling within 1,000 feet of your home's water well, get your well water tested before any drilling starts. If you are negotiating a lease agreement, insist in pre and post drilling testing of all water supplies including any ponds or streams used for livestock. Also insist on water flow testing a water well contractor certified by the National Ground Water Association

Often there are local regulations requiring the drilling company to test your private water supply if you are not leasing the land yourself, but you still want to arrange for your own testing. If your water test comes back showing less contaminants than the drilling company's water test, contact a certified water testing company for an additional test. Ensure that the water testing company will come to your home and let them know that you may need the results for possible legal action. Too many people have complained about contaminated water only to have the drilling company say that fracking did not cause the problem, the water was contaminated before they started fracking.

<<<Use a certified water testing company that comes to your home because water test results from water samples collected by a homeowner are generally not recognized in legal proceedings because they are not independent.>>>.

Certified water testing is expensive but imagine what life would be like if you can't drink your well water anymore and you had no proof your water was contaminated by fracking chemicals. If you notice any change in your well water's taste, appearance or odor during or after drilling, contact your local DEP, Bureau of Oil and Gas Office. If you make a complaint during gas well drilling operations or within six months after drilling was completed, the gas well operator hads to prove they did not contaminate your water supply. If you wait longer, you will have to prove the contamination was caused by the gas well operator.

The Department of Energy recently stated that "no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers". The Department of Energy was referring to a controlled test at several western Pennsylvania drilling sites in Greene County, where drilling fluids were tagged with unique markers to see if they infiltrated water supplies. If, and it's a big if, all fracking was done exactly the same way and all ground is exactly like the ground at the test site, then a fracking site near your home probably won't hurt your water supply. However, we've all seen videos of people setting their water on fire so it's pretty clear that not everyone lucky enough to have the DOE monitor fracking activity near their home. Did the DOE really think the company doing the fracking would let the water be contaminated at these sites?