Environmental Science and Management (ESM)
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Contamination, Hydraulic Fracturing, Impact, Mass Ratios, Water Quality
Concerns over the potential impacts of extractive activities on water quality have long existed. Hydraulic fracturing has now become common in Pennsylvania, but whether it has impacted water resources is still unclear. Previous studies have been done on localized areas often focusing on county or municipality boundaries. However, as water follows watershed boundaries this work aimed to study water quality at the watershed level. Four hundred forty-four groundwater samples were collected from the water wells of homeowner volunteers and three hundred twenty-two surface water samples were collected from streams throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania in areas with and without unconventional drilling at homeowner’s request. All samples were analyzed for anion, cation, and light hydrocarbon concentrations. Mass ratios were then used to determine if a source had been impacted. Results indicate instances of potential water quality impact from oil and gas activities in the Connoquenessing and Upper Ohio Watersheds.
Manley, L. E. (2017). Water Quality Analysis of Watersheds in Southwestern Pennsylvania (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/137