Environmental Science and Management (ESM)
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Dr. Brady Porter
Dr. Thomas Jordan
Dr. Partha Basu
GIS, Ground water, Hydraulic fracturing, Oil and gas, Unconventional shale gas extraction, Well water
The recent increase in unconventional shale gas extraction (USGE) using hydraulic fracturing and associated claims of ground water contamination has raised awareness of ground water issues. The Woodlands, a community that relies on well water, reported changes in water quality and yield concurrent with USGE activities. In an effort to determine the extent of the issues and if a correlation existed, residents participated in a survey and well water samples were collected and analyzed. Base maps of the study area were created identifying current horizontal wells, legacy operations (e.g., gas and oil wells, coal mining), and topography. Fifty-six out of the 143 respondents indicated changes in water quality or quantity since 2010. Water analysis found elevated levels of chloride, iron, and manganese with 25 households above the limits set in the national drinking water standard for manganese. Review of available pre-drilling and post drilling reports suggest possible causal relation.
Alawattegama, S. (2013). Survey of Well Water Contamination in a Rural Southwestern Pennsylvania Community with Unconventional Shale Gas Drilling (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/285