Hydraulic fracturing affects water wells, study finds

Sponsored by

DURHAM, NC, May 13, 2011 -- According to a new study by Duke University researchers, claims that drinking water wells near hydraulic fracturing sites have become contaminated are true.

In the study, funded by the Nicholas School and Duke's Center on Global Change, the researchers analyzed samples collected from nearly 70 private wells in five counties in northeastern Pennsylvania and New York -- the vicinity of the controversial Marcellus Shale region.

The scientists found methane in 85% of the samples but samples taken from wells located close to active hydraulic fracturing sites exhibited much higher levels -- an average of 17 times higher.

The scientists were able to differentiate between thermogenic methane and biogenic methane. The former comes from very deep underground and is captured in gas wells during fracking, while the latter is produced at shallower depths and is not associated with hydraulic fracturing. The researchers determined that the methane found in the water samples collected from sites within a kilometer of fracking activity was of the thermogenic variety and exhibited a chemical signature matching that of the gas chemistry profiles of shale gas wells in the area.

"At least some of the homeowners who claim that their wells were contaminated by shale-gas extraction appear to be right," says Robert B. Jackson, Nicholas Professor of Global Environmental Change and director of Duke's Center on Global Change.

On a more positive note, the study found no evidence of contamination from fracking fluids.

###

Sponsored by

TODAY'S HEADLINES

House holds clean water affordability hearing; Springfield testifies on planning proposal

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment held a hearing to examine the status of EPA's Integrated Planning Framework and legislative efforts to supplement the approach and promote clean water affordability issues.

Great Lakes shoreline cities to gain $4.5M to fund green infrastructure projects

EPA announced a solicitation for a second round of Great Lakes Shoreline Cities Grants. It will award grants totaling up to $4.5 million to eligible shoreline cities to fund green infrastructure projects that will improve water quality throughout the Great Lakes.

New Brunswick communities to receive major wastewater infrastructure improvements

A number of communities throughout the province of New Brunswick, Canada, will soon receive major improvements to their wastewater infrastructure backed by federal investments made through the federal Gas Tax Fund.

PPCA new website with conference database to benefit plastic pipe industry

The Plastic Pipes Conference Association has released a new website that will provide important technical and commercial information for the plastic pipe industry worldwide.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA