Gas Drilling Water Quality and Private Drinking Supplies


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Gas Drilling Water Quality and Private Drinking Supplies

  1. 1. College of Agricultural Sciences • Cooperative Extension School of Forest Resources Water Facts #28 Gas Well Drilling and Your Private Water SupplyGas well drilling has occurred for decades in much of below the fresh water aquifers. These fluids arewestern and northern Pennsylvania with tens of commonly referred to as “brines”.thousands of active gas wells in the state and over5,000 new wells drilled each year. Most of these wells  Stimulation or flow back fluids are fluids that aretap gas reserves a few thousand feet below the used to improve gas recovery from the rock andearth’s surface. With discoveries of new gas reserves are returned to the ground surface. An example isin the Marcellus shale and new drilling technologies “hydrofracturing” which uses high pressure fluidsto reach previously untapped gas reserves, both the to break the gas-producing rock to improve thenumber and depth of gas wells are expected to rise flow of gas. Along with large amounts of water,dramatically over the next several decades. various other materials may be used or mixed with the water for the fracturing process including sand, oils, gels, acids, alcohols and various man- made organic chemicals. The exact additives have traditionally been difficult to determine because they were considered proprietary. Recent changes to the state gas well drilling permit along with action by River Basin Commissions now requires disclosure of additives used in hydrofracturing as part of the gas drilling permit application and approval.  Production fluids are produced along with the natural gas after the well is in production. Production fluids usually have a similar chemistry to the bottom hole fluids.A typical Marcellus gas well site (Tom Murphy, The volume of fluids produced during gas well drillingLycoming County Cooperative Extension). and operation can vary considerably depending on the depth and location of the gas well. One study inPotential Water Quality Impacts from Drilling Pennsylvania found average volumes of waterGas well drilling can occasionally impact groundwater produced during shallow gas well drilling in westernresources that are the source of water for household Pennsylvania was 25,000 gallons during drilling,water wells and springs. A single gas well can 50,000 gallons during stimulation and 150 gallons perproduce hundreds of thousands of gallons of waste day during production. Drilling of deeper gas wells influids during drilling and during years of gas the Marcellus formation relies more onproduction. The wastes fluids generated from a gas hydrofracturing which requires several million gallonswell can be classified into several categories of freshwater. On average, about 10 to 30 percent ofincluding: the water used for hydrofracturing Marcellus wells Top hole fluids are the fresh water aquifers that returns to the ground surface as a “flow back” waste are encountered usually within the first few fluid. hundred feet of the drilling process. Bottom hole fluids are very old salt water deposits While top hole fluid is usually representative of encountered deep underground during drilling groundwater used for local water wells and springs, 1
  2. 2. the remaining water encountered during gas well How Common are Problems?drilling (bottom hole, stimulation and production Contamination of private wells and springs can occurfluids) may be contaminated with various pollutants. from gas well drilling but it has not been common over the past few decades. Data from variousGroundwater Pollutants from Gas Wells regulatory agencies responsible for enforcement ofPollution of private water supplies from gas well gas well drilling regulations indicate that more thanactivity has occurred in Pennsylvania. This 95% of complaints received by homeownerscontamination may occur from absent or corroded suspecting problems from nearby gas well drilling are,gas well casings (on older or abandoned gas wells) or instead, due to pre-existing problems or other nearbyit may originate from flooded or leaking waste fluid land use activities.holding pits or spills at the drilling site. A study by McKean County Cooperative ExtensionGas well waste fluids usually contain levels of some and Penn State University in 2007 looked at waterpollutants that are far above levels considered safe quality in 200 private water wells in an area that hasfor drinking water supplies. As a result, even small undergone extensive oil and gas well drilling foramounts of pollution from waste fluids can result in several decades. About three percent of these privatesignificant impacts to nearby drinking water supplies. water wells exceeded drinking water standards forThe broad categories of pollutants in gas drilling total dissolved solids, barium or chloride (three of thewaste fluids includes: most likely water pollutants from gas well drilling). Another five percent of these private wells had Salts—most notably sodium and chloride. Gas elevated levels of at least one of these pollutants that well waste fluids can have over 100,000 mg/L of could be tied to gas well drilling. A similar study of these compounds. Other pollutants that can 200 water wells in the northeast region of the state in occur as various salts include magnesium, early 2008 did not detect any water wells with these calcium and potassium. These salts cause the same pollutants prior to intensive Marcellus shale “total dissolved solids” in the wastes to be very drilling activity. high. It is important to note that the McKean County study Metals—including iron, manganese, barium, did not attempt to differentiate between effects from arsenic and trace amounts of other heavy metals. past versus current gas well drilling. Given the changes and strengthening of regulations on gas well Organics—these include both natural and man- drilling that occurred in the mid 1980’s, it is likely that made materials that are used during the drilling most of the groundwater contamination found in process such surfactants, detergents, oil, grease, McKean County occurred from past drilling practices. benzene and toluene. Dozens of other man- Still, these results point to the importance of made organics may be used in small remaining vigilant in properly testing and monitoring concentrations during hydrofracturing. private water supplies near gas wells using the strategies outlined later in this publication.Another problem that can occur from gas well drilling Regulations to Protect Water Suppliesis methane gas migration from gas wells into nearby Gas well drilling is regulated by the Oil and Gas Act ofwater wells. The methane gas will rapidly escape 1984. This Act regulates the permitting, constructionfrom the groundwater and may pose an explosion and abandonment of gas wells drilled throughout thehazard in confined spaces. Methane gas testing in state. A summary of the various relevant componentswater is difficult but it usually creates obvious of the Oil and Gas Act are provided here.symptoms in the home including effervescence andspurting faucets due to gas build-up. To learn more 1) Permitsabout methane gas problems in private wells, consult Before drilling a gas well in Pennsylvania, thethe Penn State Extension publication entitled Water operator must submit an extensive permit applicationFacts #24—Methane Gas and Its Removal from for approval from the Pennsylvania Department ofWells in Pennsylvania available from your local Environmental Protection (DEP). Among otherCooperative Extension office or online at: things, the permit application must include a map showing the location of the gas well, proximity of the gas well to coal seams, and distances to nearby surface water and water supplies. The map must also 2
  3. 3. include the projected horizontal boreholes, property -drilling survey water samples and samples collectedlines and acreage which will be disturbed during by DEP during investigations are analyzed for thedrilling. A bond ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 must salts and metals listed on page two. Individual gasbe posted with the permit to ensure compliance with well companies and DEP may choose additionalenvironmental regulations related to the well drilling. water tests such as coliform bacteria, methane, andThe permit also requires notification of surface land various organic compounds depending on theowners and coal mineral right owners at the well site circumstances.along with all drinking water supply owners within1,000 feet of the well. Notification of these various As part of any pre-drilling survey water sample, thestakeholders is done by certified mail. As a result, gas well company is required to hire an independenthomeowners with private water wells or springs state-certified water testing laboratory to conduct thewhich are located within 1,000 feet of the proposed water testing. You can find local, state-certified watergas well site should receive notification by certified testing labs by contacting your local Penn Statemail during the permit process. Cooperative Extension. An up-to-date listing of state certified water testing labs from the DEP Bureau of2) Setback Distances Labs is also linked on the Penn State WaterGas wells must be at least 200 feet from any drinking Resources Extension site at:water supplies. This setback may be waived by thewater supply owner in a lease agreement. Gas wells also be 100 feet from any stream, spring orbody of water identified on the most current 7.5minute USGS topographic map. A 100 foot setbackis also required from any wetland greater than oneacre in size. These setbacks may also be relaxed ifadditional protection is put in place to protect thesenatural resources.3) Protection of Drinking Water QualitySection 208 of the Oil and Gas Act specificallyincludes language to protect nearby drinking watersupplies. This includes a requirement that gas welldrilling operators restore or replace any water supplydetermined by the DEP to be polluted as a result ofnearby gas well drilling. The gas well operator ispresumed to be responsible for pollution of anydrinking water supply within 1,000 feet of the gas Gas well drilling companies will contract withwell IF it occurs within six months after completion of independent state-certified water testing labs tothe gas well. The operator can use any one of five conduct pre-drilling water testing at nearbydefenses to prove the are not responsible for water homes using drinking water wells and springs.contamination including: An employee or subcontractor from the certified The pollution existed prior to the drilling laboratory will visit homes within 1,000 feet of the The landowner or water purveyor refused to allow proposed gas well site to collect the water samples. the operator access to conduct a pre-drilling This ensures that the samples are collected correctly water test using proper methods and materials. To ensure data The water supply is not within 1,000 ft of the well quality, documentation must be completed for each The pollution occurred more than six months sample showing proper sample collection, after completion of drilling preservation, handling procedures and chain of The pollution occurred as the result of some custody (people who handled the sample). cause other than the gas drilling Here are some important things to remember if youTo preserve their defense, most gas well operators are visited by someone wanting to test your water aswill collect the necessary pre-drilling water quality part of a pre-gas drilling survey:information from all drinking water supplies within  Do not deny access to the water testing1,000 feet of their drilling operation. Although there is laboratory personnel. It is important to note thatno list of required water quality parameters, most pre gas well operators are NOT presumed 3
  4. 4. responsible for pollution of water supplies that sedimentation due to these disturbances. Erosion and they were denied access to prior to the drilling. Sediment Plans may be required that include the use Get the name and company affiliation of any of filter fence, sediment traps, vegetation, hay bales, person asking to sample your water supply and culverts and rocked road entrances. These plans also ask for proof of identification. include a requirement to restore vegetation to the drill Tell the person testing your water as much as you site within nine months of well completion. know about your water supply including Enforcement of erosion and sediment problems approximate depth, yield, age, and treatment related to gas well operations is overseen by devices. This information will help them to personnel from the DEP, Bureau of Oil and Gas determine proper sampling locations. It may also Management. help the gas drilling company choose proper drilling techniques to avoid causing problems to 6) Groundwater Protection During Drilling your water supply. New protections were included in the 1984 Oil and Ask what water quality tests will be performed by Gas Act to ensure that groundwater aquifers are not the laboratory on your water sample. This list may contaminated by drilling fluids, brines and wastes. A help you decide if you want to have your own, thick, steel casing is cemented into place from the more extensive test done at your own cost (see ground surface to below the deepest freshwater discussion in the Homeowner Strategies to aquifer (typically several hundred feet below the Protect Water Supplies section). ground surface). This freshwater protection string The owner of the water supply has a right to segregates the fresh groundwater from the drilling receive a copy of any pre-drilling water test process and prevents waste fluids from entering results collected by a lab representing the energy freshwater aquifers. Changes to these regulations are company. You can request a copy of these water proposed in 2010 to provide even greater protection test reports from the water laboratory or the for groundwater aquifers. energy company. If they are unwilling to provide a copy, contact one of the Pennsylvania DEP, 7) Disposal of Drilling Fluids Bureau of Oil and Gas Management offices below Disposal of the various fluids used and generated and they will obtain a copy for you. during and after the drilling process are also Central Office 717-772-2199 regulated to protect surface and groundwater Southwest Office 412-442-4024 resources. All waste fluids produced during drilling Northcentral Office 570-321-6550 are collected in metals tanks or pits. All pits must Northwest Office 814-332-6860 have an acceptable liner with at least two feet of freeboard to protect both groundwater and nearby4) Protection of Water Flows from Wells and Springs surface water. Final use or disposal of waste fluidsGas well drilling can occasionally change the flow of depends on the source of the water. The relativelywater from a water well or spring, although these clean freshwater or top hole water encountered in thechanges are often temporary. Unlike water quality first several hundred feet of drilling is sometimes re-impacts, gas well operators are NOT presumed used later in the drilling process or land applied andresponsible for water quantity impacts to nearby allowed to infiltrate back into local groundwater if itwater supplies. For this reason, water flow data is meets certain water quality criteria. Top-hole wateroften not measured during pre-drilling surveys may also be trucked to an off-site treatment facility.conducted during the permitting process. Instead, Some of the remaining drilling fluids (brines,impacts to water quantity would need to be fracturing wastes, etc.) may be recycled and reusedinvestigated by DEP inspectors and/or proven by the during the drilling and hydrofracturing process butwater supply owner. Concerned water supply owners most is eventually trucked to dedicated treatmentmay wish to hire a well driller or water consultant to sites where it is treated and discharged to a surfacedocument the flow of water from their well or spring stream. Another less common method to dispose ofprior to the gas drilling activity (see Homeowner waste fluids is through pumping into very deepStrategies section for more detail). disposal wells regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S.5) Land Disturbance Environmental Protection Agency. These wellsGas well construction involves extensive disturbance access a confined, deep permeable formation whereincluding roads, drilling pads and pipelines. Drilling the wastes can be segregated from shallow,pads alone may be four to six acres in size for deeper groundwater aquifers. Some brine may also begas wells. Various regulations are in place to protect trucked to municipal or industrial treatment plants orsurface water and groundwater from erosion and applied to rural gravel and dirt roads for dust control. 4
  5. 5. Municipal or industrial treatment facilities can only other sites. The freshwater protection casing is left inaccept gas well waste fluids if they have a permit place and the hole is filled to the ground surface withdemonstrating adequate capacity and technology to non-porous material.properly treat the waste fluids. Waste fluids frombelow the fresh water casing must meet limits for Prior to current regulations, gas wells were often leftiron, oil/grease, total suspended solids and pH in place even after they were taken out of production.before they can be discharged. Alkalinity, acidity, Thousands of these wells are located throughouttotal dissolved solids and chlorides are also much of western and north-central Pennsylvania.monitored in these treated waters. Proposed These abandoned gas wells, often referred to aschanges to regulations may require treatment plants “orphan wells” should be properly decommissionedto further treat these waste fluids to meet a standard to prevent future groundwater contamination. Theof less than 500 mg/L of total dissolved solids by state has a fund to properly decommission orphanJanuary of 2011. Other recent changes to gas wells. Contact one of the regional Pennsylvaniaregulations now require the gas well drilling Department of Environmental Protection (DEP),operators to specifically identify the location of Bureau of Oil and Gas Management offices listed ontreatment facilities where drilling and hydrofracturing the previous page to report an orphan gas or oil wellfluids will be taken for treatment and ultimate in your area.disposal. Homeowner Strategies to Protect Water Supplies8) Water Withdrawals 1) Maintain Your Water SupplyA major concern with newer and deeper gas well Most homeowner complaints related to gas welldrilling technologies has been the withdrawal of large drilling and drinking water supplies are determined tovolumes (millions of gallons) of water used mostly in be problems that existed before gas drilling or werethe hydrofracturing process. These large water caused by other activities. Periodic maintenance andwithdrawals may come from many sources (streams, testing of private water supplies can help to identifyponds, lakes, etc.) and can have significant effects if and avoid these problems. Penn State Cooperativenot done carefully. Water withdrawals generally Extension has many resources and publicationsexceeding 10,000 gallons per day require permits or dedicated to proper management of private waterregistration with DEP under authority of the Water systems. They are available at your local countyResources Planning Act. Withdrawals occurring in Extension office or online at:the Susquehanna or Delaware River watersheds http://water.cas.psu.edumay also require permits from the SusquehannaRiver Basin Commission or the Delaware River 2) Learn When and Where Drilling Will OccurBasin Commission. The Clean Streams Law also Some homeowners will learn of nearby gas welllimits the amount of water that can be withdrawn drilling plans through lease agreements or throughfrom streams to maintain sufficient stream flows to required notification by certified mail if their waterprotect aquatic life. These various regulations have supply is within 1,000 feet of the proposed well. But,all been used to shut down gas well drilling anyone can be kept abreast of gas well drilling plansoperations that failed to acquire the proper permits or through several online features available through theexceeded allowable withdrawals from streams. Pennsylvania DEP including:Concerns over water use during gas well drilling PA DEP Marcellus web site: Includes spreadsheets,prompted changes to the state permit in 2008. The graphs and maps of Marcellus drilling activity. (http://permit now must include information on the sources then enter Marcellus as aand locations of water to be used in the drilling keyword).process, the impacts of drilling on water resourcesand proof that the water withdrawals have been eNotice: once registered on this web site you canapproved by the appropriate river basin commission. choose to receive notice of gas well permits in your area. ( Well PluggingOnce a well is no longer in production (a period of a eMap: a web-based geographic information systemfew years to several decades for most wells), it must that allows mapping of proposed gas well locationsbe decommissioned and plugged. In some cases, by permit number.the production well casing (below the freshwater ( string) may be removed and re-used at 5
  6. 6. eFacts: after drilling begins, monitor inspection Local state-certified water testing labs can assist withreports, violations, etc. on this web site. selection of water quality parameters and many offer( standard packages of tests that correspond to gas well drilling activities. Keep in mind that testing for all3) Control Seismic Testing of the possible contaminants will be costly (severalPrior to drilling wells in an area, gas companies will hundred dollars for the tests alone). Listed below areoften seek permission from land owners to do three general categories of pollutants that areseismic testing to determine the thickness of gas increasingly comprehensive of all possible pollutantsbearing rocks and other geologic information. A but also increasingly costly:certain type of seismic testing commonly called “3D”  Tier 1—are basic parameters that are likely touses two to three-inch diameter holes that are change if gas drilling affects groundwater. Theseusually about 20 feet deep. Explosive charges are include total dissolved solids (TDS), pH, barium,detonated in each hole and the resulting shock chloride, and methane. These tests are availablewaves are recorded by instruments. from most certified labs and can be tested for a reasonable cost.There are no regulations to protect water supplies  Tier 2—are good additions to the Tier 1 pollutantsfrom seismic testing. If 3D seismic testing with small that include total suspended solids (turbidity), ironexplosives is going to occur on your property, make manganese, hardness (calcium and magnesium),sure to stipulate that each shot hole is immediately sodium, total organic carbon, strontium,filled to prevent groundwater contamination by oil&grease, detergents, lead, arsenic, alkalinity,surface water. If seismic testing is to be done close coliform bacteria, sulfate and your water supply, you may want to stipulate that  Tier 3– are pollutants that are more costly andwater quantity conditions be documented in your well include volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) or aor spring by a professional water well contractor or subgroup of VOC’s called BTEX (benzene etc.)hydrogeologist before allowing the seismic along with radionuclides like gross alpha, radiumexploration. and radon.4) Collect Water Quality Data Prior to Drilling 5) Document Well and Spring Flow Before DrillingPrior to gas well drilling occurring, drinking water Diminished or lost water supplies resulting from gassupplies within 1,000 feet of the proposed gas well well drilling have occurred but are rare. When thiswill likely be tested at no charge to the homeowner does occur, it is usually an obvious, complete loss ofby a certified testing laboratory hired by the gas water rather than a subtle decrease in water Make sure to arrange to receive results Well and spring owners that wish to document waterfrom this water testing. supply conditions before and after gas well activities would need to hire a professional water wellIf your water supply is more than 1,000 feet from a contractor or hydrogeologist to independentlyproposed gas well site OR if you simply want to measure and document these conditions. You canconfirm the results collected during the pre-drill find a list of local water well contractors certified bysurvey, you would need to arrange to have your the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) atwater tested at your expense. This test should also arranged through a state-certified water testinglaboratory. 6) Continuously Monitor Water Quality In addition to water samples analyzed by labs, someIt is important to remember that water samples water supply owners are interested in methods tocollected to document impacts from gas well drilling continuously monitor their water quality. Inexpensivegenerally should be collected by an unbiased total dissolved solids (TDS) or conductivity metersprofessional. Most often this is an employee of the can be purchased from many online suppliers for $50water testing laboratory. This adds significantly to the to $100. These meters allow the water supply ownercost of water testing but will be vital to the to quickly and easily measure the total amount ofadmissibility of the results in any legal action related dissolved contaminants in their water. Largeto pollution of a private water supply. You can expect increases in the TDS or conductivity of water into pay $200 to $800 or more to have a pre-drilling conjunction with nearby gas drilling activity wouldwater sample collected and analyzed by a certified warrant follow-up testing by a state accredited waterwater testing laboratory depending on the complexity lab.of the test package. 6
  7. 7. 7) Test Water After Drilling homeowners should be utilized only for educationalThere are no requirements for gas well companies to purposes including:test private water supplies, even those within 1,000feet of an active gas well, after the gas well drilling  General water system education: about half ofhas concluded. Therefore, any post-drilling water the private water systems in Pennsylvania havesampling is a voluntary decision that must be never been tested. Penn State recommends thatarranged by the homeowner unless the testing is all private wells and springs should be routinelypreviously stipulated in a lease agreement or part of tested for coliform bacteria, pH, total dissolveda complaint to DEP. Obvious changes to your water solids, and any other pollutants associated withsupply that would warrant a complaint to DEP can land use activities occurring within sight of theinclude: water supply. Rapid increases in the TDS or conductivity of the water supply based on readings from a meter.  Comparison to pre-drilling test results: water test Occurrence of increased severity of sediment in results collected by the homeowner could be local surface water (streams, ponds, etc.). used to confirm pre-drilling results collected by Changes in the appearance of drinking water certified labs contracted by the gas company. In from a well or spring such as sediment, foaming, this case, homeowners should collect and submit bubbling or spurting faucets a duplicate sample within a few days of samples Changes in drinking water taste including salty or collected by the gas company. If the homeowner metallic tastes collected sample shows lower levels of Changes in water odor such as a rotten egg odor, contaminants than the sample collected by the fuel or oily smell laboratory, it would then be advisable to hire a Reduction or loss of water quantity certified water testing lab to visit your home and collect an additional sample that would beShould you notice any obvious changes in your admissible in any future legal action.water supply in conjunction with nearby gas welldrilling, you can file a complaint with the regional  Post-drilling decisions: homeowner-collectedDEP, Bureau of Oil and Gas offices listed earlier in samples after drilling could be used to look forthis publication. They will investigate the claim within any changes in water quality. If concentrations often days and make a determination of the cause contaminants are present at higher levels thanwithin 45 days. Water pollution complaints filed the pre-drilling concentrations, further testing isduring gas well drilling operations or within six again warranted by an independentmonths after drilling was completed place the burden representative of a certified lab. Keep in mindof proof on the gas well operator. Water pollution that samples collected after drilling should becomplaints filed more than six months after drilling scheduled soon after drilling is completed tohas ended and all water quantity complaints place allow time to receive the results and take actionthe burden of proof on the homeowner. During the before six months has passed. This will maintaininvestigation, DEP will obtain results from all pre- the burden of proof on the gas company ratherdrilling water testing. They may also decide to collect than the homeowner.additional water samples as part of the investigation.While many of the pollutants associated with gas well If you choose to sample your water supply yourself,drilling will have obvious stains, odors or tastes in make sure to obtain proper sample containers fromyour water, others have no obvious symptoms. For the laboratory and follow their sample collectionthis reason, some homeowners may wish to hire an instruction very carefully. For more details on how toindependent water laboratory to collect a post-drilling collect water samples, consult the Penn Statewater sample. Cooperative Extension publication entitled Water Facts #10—Testing Your Drinking Water availableMany homeowners question whether they can collect from your Extension office or online at:their own water samples and deliver them to an laboratory to save on testing costs.While this method will save money, it is important to 8) Include Water Resource Protection in Your Leaserealize that test results from water samples collected Many of the aforementioned ideas for protecting aby the homeowner are generally not recognized in water supply can be stipulated in a gas leasinglegal proceedings because they are not independent. agreement (if a lease is offered by the gasAs a result, samples collected and submitted by company). The lease agreement provides an 7
  8. 8. opportunity for the homeowner to set rules for the Quality and Management. Edited by S.K. Majumdar,gas company to follow in order to access private E.W. Miller and R.R. Parizek. The Pennsylvaniaproperty. Some items to consider for the lease Academy of Science. pp. 384-398.agreement include: DeWalle, D.R. and Galeone, D.G. 1990. One-Time Setback distances—don’t allow gas well drilling Dormant Season Application of Gas Well Brine on or seismic testing within 200 feet of any water Forest Land. Journal of Environmental Quality, resources (wells, springs, ponds, streams, etc.). 19:288-295 Water testing—request pre- and post-drilling testing of all drinking water supplies. Stipulate a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental complete list of test parameters (i.e. all three tiers Protection, 2007. Oil and gas well drilling and of tests on the previous page). If you are production in Pennsylvania. DEP Fact Sheet 2018, 3 concerned about other sources of water on your pp. property (springs, streams, ponds, etc.) request that these water sources also be tested. Prepared by Bryan Swistock, senior extension associate. Water flow—request measurement of water flow Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences research, extension, from wells and springs prior to gas well drilling by and resident education programs are funded in part by a water well contractor certified by the National Pennsylvania counties, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Ground Water Association. the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Water sources—stipulate which sources of water This publication is available in alternative media on request. on your property can and cannot be used during the drilling and hydrofracturing processes. The Pennsylvania State University is committed to the policy Waste handling—stipulate proper off-site that all persons shall have equal access to programs, facilities, disposal of all drilling waste materials. admission, and employment without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state orSummary federal authorities. It is the policy of the University to maintain anAs gas well drilling operations increase in size and academic and work environment free of discrimination, includingscope across Pennsylvania, environmental concerns harassment. The Pennsylvania State University prohibitsabout their effects will also grow. Basic regulations discrimination and harassment against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race,are in place to protect private water supplies from religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, orgas well drilling influences. The homeowner veteran status. Discrimination or harassment against faculty,strategies outlined in this publication provide staff, or students will not be tolerated at The Pennsylvania Stateadditional steps that can be taken to ensure safe and University. Direct all inquiries regarding the nondiscriminationadequate drinking water near gas well drilling policy to the Affirmative Action Director, The Pennsylvania State University, 328 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802-activities. 5901; Tel 814-865-4700/V, 814-863-1150/TTY.More Information ©The Pennsylvania State University 2010For additional information on all aspects of managing Rev: March 2, 2010a private water system or help in reading your watertest results, contact your local Penn StateCooperative Extension office or consult he WaterResources Extension web site at http://water.cas.psu.eduFor more information on all aspects of gas and oilwell drilling in Pennsylvania, consult thePennsylvania Department of EnvironmentalProtection web site at and choose keyword: “Oiland Gas”ReferencesGough, W.R. and Waite, B.A. 1990. Oil and gasexploration and water quality considerations, Chapter29 in: Water Resources in Pennsylvania: Availability, 8