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.
Potential well water contaminants highest near natural gas drilling, UT Arlington study says
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.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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No VOC’s so that should make everyone happy!
No VOCs is great but methanol is widely used in fracking fluid so this seems to be a link that shows fracking fluid is getting into our drinking water.
The paper also recommends further research on levels of methanol and ethanol in water wells. Twenty-nine private water wells in the study contained methanol, with the highest concentrations in the active extraction areas. Twelve samples, four of which were from the non-active extraction sites, contained measurable ethanol. Both ethanol and methanol can occur naturally or as a result of industrial contamination. Historical data on methanol and ethanol was not available, researchers said in the paper.
Methanol which is found in antifreeze, paint solvent and vehicle fuel has been detected in air testing in gas patches all across America. Vapors can cause eye irritation, headache and fatigue, and in high enough doses can be fatal. Swallowing may cause eye damage or death.
I would write more about this but I have to dash off to the farmer’s market because I heard they have non GMO corn.
Another Alberta Neighbour says
Not only is methanol widely used in the oil and gas industry and in frac fluids, Alberta’s “Best in the World,” “World-Class” Minster of Environment and energy regulator (then ERCB, now AER with Encana exec at the helm) looked the other way when evidence was provided that 20% methanol frac fluid had been injected above the base of groundwater protection, into potable groundwater in Alberta.
Fish Creek Neighbor says
Believe it or not some people in the City of Arlington still have water wells. I know of one such family. Their water well dried up after Chesapeake drilled some wells a couple of hundred feet from their home.
We also need to be concerned about the hundreds of wells Directly underneath our water reservoirs. Migration of these toxic fluids can occur. There will be mass pandemic if millions of people are suddenly without safe water.
We need to be closely monitoring our water since a well casing collapsed this week near Richland Chambers Reservoir, the water source for Arlington, TX residents.
Fish Creek Neighbor recently posted..Don’t Frack Our Future – Doreen’s Story