Tainted drinking water found near gas wells

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — A new study from Duke University found potentially explosive levels of methane in drinking water supplies located close to natural gas wells.

A new study from Duke University found potentially toxic levels of methane in drinking water near natural gas wells — levels so high they create the risk of explosion.

The study, released Monday, said about half of the 68 drinking water wells tested in Pennsylvania and New York located within a half a mile from natural gas wells had high levels of methane — the prime ingredient in natural gas fuel.

“We found concentration levels where you have to worry about explosions,” said Robert Jackson, an environmental sciences professor at Duke and one of the study’s authors.

The gas, which is usually located thousands of feet below the water table, appears to be entering the water wells either through cracks in the bedrock or, more likely, the casing in natural gas wells, said Jackson. Casings are steel and concrete barriers natural gas companies use to line a well where it passes through the water table.

Jackson suspects hydraulic fracturing may be to blame. The process, known as fracking for short, uses vast amounts of chemically-laced water, sand and pressure to crack the shale rock and release the gas.

The combination of expensive energy prices and new drilling technology has unleashed huge amounts of cleaner-burning natural gas in America, and created thousands of well-paying jobs.

But it’s also raised fears over water contamination, especially in the Northeast’s Marcellus Shale, a rock formation containing natural gas that stretches from New York to Georgia.

Some believe the frack chemicals could migrate up to the drinking water or enter it by an accident during the drilling process. There have also been instances where surface water has been contaminated by spills.


The coming epidemics from tainted water will begin to spread shortly. Hospitals will be overwhelmed by the sheer number of people that are infected. Boiling water is still the best defense against water born diseases, and should also be boiled to bathe with. People living in flooded areas should follow this precaution.

The animal kingdom will also suffer from the effects. Those with pets in the infected areas should boil their drinking water also. Pets that are permitted free range will become infected. Livestock will also be at risk from the new strains of bacteria that are in the toxic brew if permitted to drink the tainted water.

The underground aquifers are also tainted. Well water is no longer safe in flooded areas even after the waters recede. Be cautious of rainwater, it is also tainted, and what it is tainted with will eventually affect all surface and underground water. No amount of boiling will make it safe.

The Antijaboks have done their work. You are now forewarned of what to expect.