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Water Well Contaminated

Source : FrackCheckWV

Water Well Contaminated by Fracking, Under Conditions Prevailing in 1982


In 1982, the Kaiser Gas Company drilled a gas well on the property of Mr. James Parsons in Jackson County, WV, according to a 1987 EPA report to the US Congress. The well was fractured using a typical fracturing fluid or gel, common at that time.

The residual fracturing fluid migrated into Mr. Parson’s water well according to an analysis by the WV Environmental Health Services Laboratory of well water samples taken from the property. Dark and light gelatinous material (fracturing fluid) was found, along with white fibers. (The gas well was located less than 1,000 feet from the water well which was 416 feet deep. Four old gas wells were also nearby.)

The chief of the laboratory advised that the water well was contaminated and unfit for domestic use, and that an alternative source of domestic water had to be found. Analysis showed the water to contain high levels of fluoride, sodium, iron and manganese. The water, according to State officials, had a hydrocarbon odor, indicating the presence of gas. Mr. Parsons was unable to resume the use of the well as a domestic water source.

According to a recent report from the Environmental Working Group, “When you add up the gel in the water, the presence of abandoned wells and the documented ability of drilling fluids to migrate through these wells into underground water supplies, there is a lot of evidence that EPA got it right and that this was indeed a case of hydraulic fracturing contamination of groundwater. Now it’s up to EPA to pick up where it left off 25 years ago and determine the true risks of fracking so that our drinking water can be protected.”