Author

Scott Mayes

Defense Date

4-9-2015

Graduation Date

2015

Availability

Immediate Access

Submission Type

thesis

Degree Name

MS

Department

Environmental Science and Management (ESM)

School

Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Committee Chair

John Stolz

Committee Member

Daniel Bain

Committee Member

Thomas Jordan

Committee Member

Michael Tobin

Keywords

Health and environmental sciences, Earth sciences, Conductivity, Groundwater, Light hydrocarbons, MCL, Well water, Unconventional gas wells, Shale gas

Abstract

The increase in unconventional shale gas extraction in Pennsylvania has resulted in an increased number of groundwater contamination claims. Well water quality was investigated in southern Butler County, PA where 387 unconventional gas wells have been drilled since 2006. A total of 121 households participated in a survey and 238 well water samples were tested. Specific conductivity, pH, and dissolved oxygen in these samples were measured in the field and seven anion concentrations and thirty metal concentrations were measured in the lab. A subset of 91 water wells was also tested for light hydrocarbons (methane, ethane, ethylene, propylene, propane, butane). Pennsylvania DEP file reviews were used to create GIS maps indicating legacy oil and gas, unconventional wells, and plot water testing results. Results indicate few wells had high quality groundwater, with 86% containing one or more contaminants above (secondary) Maximum Contaminant Levels, with manganese (56%), iron (47%), fluoride (18%), TDS (18%), pH (17%), aluminum (17%) the most common.

Format

PDF

Language

English

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