Environmental Science and Management (ESM)
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
John F. Stolz
Daniel J. Bain
The extraction of unconventional shale gas and its underground gas storage have the potential to impact surface and groundwater water quality. In New Sewickley Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, 54 unconventional gas wells were drilled between 2013 and 2019. Groundwater samples from 33 water wells and surface water from Brush Creek (18 samples) were collected and analyzed for anions, cations, and light hydrocarbons. Results showed that at least 8 wells had indicators of brine contamination, and the surface waters of mine drainage. The Steckman Ridge natural gas storage field in Clearville, Bedford County, PA has 13 active storage wells. Samples were collected in 2013 and 2020 (61 total) and analyzed for anions, cations, and light hydrocarbons. While several water wells had iron and manganese above the maximum contaminant level, only one was found to have high methane levels as well as ethane and propane.
Ziegler, C. (2021). Investigation of Ongoing Unconventional Gas Extraction and Underground Gas Storage in Pennsylvania: Regulations and Water Quality (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/2032