Breaking but not surprising. Levels of contaminants are highest within 3 kilometers which is 1.8 miles! Areas outside the Barnett Shale do not have the same elevated levels.
A new study of 100 private water wells in and near the Barnett Shale showed elevated levels of potential contaminants such as arsenic and selenium closest to natural gas extraction sites, according to a team of researchers that was led by UT Arlington associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry Kevin Schug.
Researchers believe the increased presence of metals could be due to a variety of factors including: industrial accidents such as faulty gas well casings; mechanical vibrations from natural gas drilling activity disturbing particles in neglected water well equipment; or the lowering of water tables through drought or the removal of water used for the hydraulic fracturing process. Any of these scenarios could release dangerous compounds into shallow groundwater.
Or it could be the acidification process in fracking dissolves the shale where the metals are trapped and allows them to migrate into drinking water.
The most interesting finding is the elevated methanol.
Twenty-nine private water wells in the study contained methanol, with the highest concentrations in the active extraction areas.
Methanol is used extensively in fracking as a corrosion inhibitor. It is found in “antifreeze, paint solvent and vehicle fuel.”
Vapors can cause eye irritation, headache and fatigue, and in high enough doses can be fatal. Swallowing may cause eye damage or death. Source
Update: The paper is HERE.