Getting the Waters Tested - The Marcellus Shale Factor (Private Wells)


Published on

Presentation related to private wells and baseline groundwater quality in NEPA. Also an introduction into the citizen groundwawter and surfacewater database.

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • The Marcellus Shale Factor is the reality that private wells in PA provide 1.5 Million citizens with water that does not meet a drinking water standard and as a state we have no real licensing program for well drillers, private well constructions standards, or the ability to fix wells that have been poortly cited and constructed – Part One – The Private Well Factor
  • These two diagrams show how not to and how to construct a residential water well. A laser pointer may be used to draw attention to each design element as it is described.
  • Getting the Waters Tested - The Marcellus Shale Factor (Private Wells)

    1. 1. Getting The Waters Tested The Marcellus Shale Factor Old Issues New Issues Environment Water Resources Private Wells In PA
    2. 2. Presented by: <ul><li>Mr. Brian Oram, Professional Geologist (PG), Soil Scientist, Licensed Well Driller, IGSHPA </li></ul><ul><li>B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Water Research Center </li></ul>
    3. 3. B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc. <ul><li>Professional Consulting Services in the areas of water quality, soils, stormwater, geology, aquifer analysis, and land-development. </li></ul><ul><li>Baseline – Chain-of-Custody </li></ul><ul><li>Expert Testimony </li></ul><ul><li>Water Treatment Process/ Product Development </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    4. 4. Water-Research Center <ul><li>Education and Outreach Program funded by B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Outreach Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental and Professional Education and Training for Citizens and Local Municipalities </li></ul><ul><li>Water Quality Help Guides – Information Library </li></ul><ul><li>Community and Business Outreach Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Low Cost – Informational Water Testing Program with National Laboratory </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen Monitoring Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Website: </li></ul>
    5. 5. Water-Research Center <ul><li>Education and Outreach Program funded by B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Outreach Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental and Professional Education and Training for Citizens and Local Municipalities </li></ul><ul><li>Water Quality Help Guides – Information Library </li></ul><ul><li>Community and Business Outreach Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Low Cost – Informational Water Testing Program with National Laboratory </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen Monitoring Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Website: </li></ul>
    6. 6. Announcements <ul><li>Announcement – New Private Well Owner and Watershed Survey for Marcellus Shale Region - Going to Offer 200 Free Radon in Water Tests . </li></ul><ul><li>Want to host a community meeting to discuss baseline testing, gas migration, community monitoring, Citizen Groundwater/Surfacewater Database or other issues – call (570) 335-1947, [email_address] or </li></ul><ul><li>Visit Us at </li></ul><ul><li>New Fact Sheet Related to Methane Gas and Updating the Free Booklet </li></ul><ul><li>for Private Well Owners. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Target Audience <ul><li>Professionals providing baseline testing services or chain-of-custody to the public. </li></ul><ul><li>Professionals providing consulting services to the Gas Companies </li></ul><ul><li>Community Advocates and Scientists </li></ul><ul><li>Municipal and Local Officials </li></ul><ul><li>Water Supplies and State Regulators </li></ul>
    8. 8. What is the Marcellus Shale Factor? <ul><li>We have been educating private wellowners for 20+ years- but it was difficult to get citizens to test their well water. It looks clear – I am not sick – It is fine. </li></ul><ul><li>The Marcellus Shale Factor – Baseline Testing for Natural Gas Development is conducting Testing and Citizens are be told they have a Problem NOW. </li></ul><ul><li>Based on Private Well Construction and Placement - Some Private Wells may be the pathways for Contamination. </li></ul><ul><li>WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR SOURCE WATER- not just from Marcellus Shale Development and other hazards, but from “us” and our past. </li></ul><ul><li>How do we track an unregulated activity – such as: Private Wells and Identify Zones or Areas that are Vulnerable to Contamination. </li></ul><ul><li>This lead to the idea for creating the Citizen Groundwater / Surfacewater Database </li></ul>WE Support the Citizen Groundwater Database at Wilkes University !
    9. 9. Goals <ul><li>Part 1- The Private Well Factor and Issue in Pennsylvania </li></ul><ul><li>Private Well Water Quality for the Region </li></ul><ul><li>Existing Problems in Region </li></ul><ul><li>Brief Introduction to Marcellus Shale and Importance of Proper Well Construction </li></ul><ul><li>Review of Hydraulic Fracturing </li></ul><ul><li>Methane Gas Migration </li></ul><ul><li>The Citizen Groundwater Database </li></ul><ul><li>Well Monitoring and Purging </li></ul><ul><li>Chain-of-Custody </li></ul><ul><li>Baseline Testing – What Parameters? </li></ul><ul><li>The PSU Findings </li></ul><ul><li>Educating the Community </li></ul>
    10. 10. Part 1 – The Private Well Factor <ul><li>Part 1- The Private Well Factor and Issue in Pennsylvania </li></ul><ul><li>Private Well Water Quality for the Region </li></ul><ul><li>Existing Problems in Region </li></ul><ul><li>The Citizen Groundwater Database </li></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>Goa1 - Private Wells/ Water Systems in Pennsylvania </li></ul>What ? 95 % drilled wells 5 % hand-dug and other
    12. 12. Standards <ul><li>Drinking Water Standards </li></ul><ul><li>Private Well Construction Standards </li></ul><ul><li>What PA does to Protect the Quality of Private Well. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Drinking Water Regulations The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), passed in 1974 and amended in 1986 and 1996, gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to set drinking water standards. These standards are divided into two broad categories: Primary Standards (NPDWR) and Secondary Standards (NSDWR). 11/09/11
    14. 14. Primary Standards (NPDWR) <ul><li>National Primary Drinking Water Regulations </li></ul><ul><li>Primary standards protect drinking water quality by limiting the levels of </li></ul><ul><li>specific contaminants that can adversely affect public health and are known </li></ul><ul><li>or anticipated to occur in water. They take the form of Maximum </li></ul><ul><li>Contaminant Levels or Treatment Techniques. </li></ul><ul><li>There are over 100 chemical and biological primary drinking water </li></ul><ul><li>standards, which include: trace metals, disinfection agents, disinfection by- </li></ul><ul><li>products, radiological, microbiological agents, and organic chemicals. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: Arsenic, Lead, MTBE, total coliform, Giardia , Trihalomethanes, </li></ul><ul><li>Asbestos, Copper, Benzene, Trichloroethane, etc. </li></ul>11/09/11
    15. 15. Secondary Standards <ul><li>National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations </li></ul><ul><li>These standards were established more for cosmetic effects </li></ul><ul><li>(such as skin or tooth discoloration) or aesthetic effects (such </li></ul><ul><li>as taste, odor or color) in drinking water. </li></ul><ul><li>The secondary standards include: aluminum, chloride, color, </li></ul><ul><li>corrosivity, fluoride, foaming agents, iron, manganese, odor, </li></ul><ul><li>pH, silver, sulfate, total dissolved solids, and zinc. </li></ul>11/09/11
    16. 16. Private Wells Not Regulated <ul><li>Private Wells Are Not Regulated under Safe Drinking Water Act </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EPA – NO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PADEP – NO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>County – Very Few Counties in PA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Townships – some have basic ordinance on placement- some have comprehensive requirements </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. 57 43 +562 242,020 180,209 118,398 Region 73 27 +142 10,078 8,657 7,236 Wyoming 67 33 +918 28,281 19,097 9,913 Wayne 65 35 +276 14,650 11,888 9,126 Tioga 75 25 +579 21,001 15,212 9,423 Susquehanna 87 13 +258 7,307 4,727 2,147 Sullivan 55 45 +743 24,309 16,875 9,441 Pike 68 32 +1612 53,363 37,246 21,129 Monroe 18 82 +467 29,330 24,662 19,994 Luzerne 14 86 +279 15,538 12,745 9,952 Lackawanna 45 55 +564 17,876 12,235 6,594 Carbon 63 37 +342 20,287 16,865 13,443 Bradford 2000 1990 1980 County % of all homes served by private water system % of all homes served by public water Avg. Change in homes served by private water systems per year # of homes served by private water systems
    18. 18. Water Budget for PA In Precipitation – 42 inches Out Evapotranspiration – 22” Total Streamflow – 20” Baseflow – 13” Surface Runoff – 7” Other Storage in Groundwater Aquifers over 100 inches* * This is our “Water” Cushion. Since 65% of Streamflow is actually Groundwater, we all rely on Groundwater as our Potable Water Supply and We All Live Downstream. Problems with Private Wells is OUR Problem and Concern.
    19. 19. Private Wells the Facts <ul><li>Are they Regulated? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not really – no state-wide construction standard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not Classified as a Regulated Source </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Are they Permitted? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May be the Licensed Well Driller Submitted a Log </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maybe a permit issued at the local level </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Are they Tested? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not required- Data not stored </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do we know where they are located? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maybe +/- a few hundred feet. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PaGWIS </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. PaGWIS (Windows Explorer or Arc GIS Format/ Access Files) <ul><li>PA Groundwater Information System </li></ul><ul><li>Data by County, Latitude/ Longitude </li></ul><ul><li>Database containing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wells </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Springs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some Groundwater Quality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Problems some wells have no coordinates and the actual locations are wrong and some duplication </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Download or Buy a CD for $ 5.00 </li></ul>
    21. 21. Properly Constructed Wells and Poorly Constructed Wells Confining Bed Sea Level Stagnant Water – no to little flow Saline Water Proper Construction Brine Water 600 to 1200 ft Fresh Water Poorly Constructed
    22. 22. Types of Water <ul><li>Freshwater - Total Dissolved Solids less than 1000 mg/L </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Protected by EPA and PADEP </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Saline Water or Potential Fresh Water (1000 to 4000 mg/L- PADEP debating this now). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Protected by EPA (UIC Program) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brine Water – Regulated indirectly by EPA (UIC Program) over 4000 mg/L if total dissolved solids is less than 10,000 mg/L </li></ul><ul><li>Connate Water- Water Trapped in the Formation Since Deposited - Regulated directly by EPA (UIC Program) if total dissolved solids is </li></ul><ul><li>less than 10,000 mg/L </li></ul><ul><li>> 10,000 mg/L total dissolved solids – i.e., 90% pure water not protected. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Note the Water in the Marcellus Shale is water that is over 400 million years old ! </li></ul></ul>Current Issue – The PA Oil and Gas Regulations currently do not adequately provide protect the aquifer that has a TDS of < 10,000 mg/L – technologically feasible freshwater.
    23. 23. Lets Be Honest – We have Problems in Pennsylvania with Private Wells <ul><li>Wells Poorly Constructed – either poor casing, inadequate casing, or annular space not grouted. </li></ul><ul><li>Wells Too Deep – Mixing Fresh and Saline Aquifers </li></ul><ul><li>Wells in the Wrong Place </li></ul>
    24. 24. An Ungrouted Residential Well A Properly Grouted Well
    25. 25. How Contaminants Can Get In to the Aquifer (Surface) Ungrouted Well Pit Sanitary Well
    26. 26. Some Private Well Photos
    27. 27. How Contaminants Can Get In to the Aquifer (Subsurface) Ungrouted Well Pit Sanitary Well
    28. 28. Things I have found within 100 feet of a private well – Just a Few Free Artesian Well Water By the way – these two photos are only 200 feet apart Groundwater is Safe and Pure – Really ?
    29. 29. Most Townships Only Requirement <ul><li>Well is 100 feet from septic disposal area </li></ul><ul><li>Well is 50 feet from septic tank </li></ul><ul><li>Well is 10 feet from property </li></ul><ul><li>That is ALL Folks ! </li></ul><ul><li>No Water Testing </li></ul><ul><li>No Construction Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Are Private Wells Adequately Protected Under PA Regulations? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To be honest, I think Private Wells are a significant problem and a potential pathway to facilitate contamination. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Baseline testing should be used to not only document existing conditions, but identify private wells that may act as conduits for contamination. </li></ul></ul>
    30. 30. More Facts <ul><li>Do We really know where private wells are ? NO </li></ul><ul><li>Do We really know how they are constructed? NO </li></ul><ul><li>Do the Homeowners Know How These Wells are Constructed? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maybe 10 to 20% - the rest we do not know ! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Who is Responsible? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EPA – NO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PADEP - NO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local Township – They Should be Interested </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual Homeowner – Yes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The State – Yes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who is the State ? Us – We the Citizen - Remember We All Live Downstream. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    31. 31. More Facts- Private Wells Issues Can / Does Impact Citizens Health <ul><li>There are nearly 1 million households in PA that rely directly on private wells.   This is equivalent to serving approximately 3 million PA residents. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>20,000 new wells are drilled every year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In 2000, it was estimated there were 1.2 million private wells in PA. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If 50% - have deficiencies that facilitate groundwater contamination – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is approximately 500,000 places were contaminants can leak directly into the groundwater aquifer. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>500,000 places that can result in citizens and guests of PA getting sick </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>500,000 pathways for leaks, spills, and other surface releases to directly impact the groundwater aquifer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1.5 million citizens drinking water that is “not potable ”. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A Study Completed in found that 64 percent of the identified waterborne disease outbreaks in the United States during 1999 and 2000 occurred in unregulated private water wells . </li></ul></ul>
    32. 32. Factor - Private Wells / Landowners 1. Concerns about groundwater quality 2. Concerns related to surfacewater quality. 3. They have never tested the water. 4. They know very little about their own well. 5. There water is great – Never a Problem. 6. They had testing done, but no-one explained the results. 7. There is no program to help fix existing problems. Citizens Believe Their Water is PURE H2O
    33. 33. Our Groundwater is Pure? Information We Know Without Compiling the Baseline Water Quality Data
    34. 34. Is this PA Groundwater ?
    35. 35. Before Marcellus Shale Development What was the Quality of Private Well Water? <ul><li>A USGS survey found that 70% of private wells were contaminated. This </li></ul><ul><li>contamination could result in acute or chronic health concerns (1996). </li></ul><ul><li>Sixty-Four Percent of the identified waterborne disease outbreaks in the </li></ul><ul><li>United States during 1999 and 2000 occurred in unregulated private water </li></ul><ul><li>Wells. Lee et al. (2002). - HOW MUCH DOES THIS ADD to Health </li></ul><ul><li>Care Cost – DO WE CARE?? </li></ul><ul><li>Testing Conducted by Wilkes University in through out the United States </li></ul><ul><li>indicates that 30 to over 50% may be contaminated – Mostly by Total </li></ul><ul><li>Coliform Bacteria – 30% of these E. coli. Positive (1989 – 2010). </li></ul><ul><li>PSU – Master Well Owner Network suggests that 33 to 50 % of Private </li></ul><ul><li>Well Owners in PA may have some Form of contamination. </li></ul>
    36. 36. <ul><li>Based on the geology of the NEPA and my 20 years experience, the common water quality problems are as follows: </li></ul>Corrosive Water Low pH Soft Water (low hardness) to Moderate Hardness Iron and Manganese Discolored Water – Reddish to Brown Tints Total Coliform Bacteria Sulfur Odors and Methane- Biogenic Gas (Tends to be < 10 mg/L) Contamination by VOCs, SOCs, Glycols, Saline Water, and Radionuclides are NOT COMMON!
    37. 37. This is Drinking Water in PA? Iron / Manganese Bacteria Sediment / Gases Corrosion 50% Other 50%
    38. 38. <ul><li>Citizen Database </li></ul>
    39. 39. Goal of the Database <ul><li>Provide a Central Location to Store Baseline Pre-Drilling and/or Post-Drilling Water Quality Data for the Region </li></ul><ul><li>Document Quality by Geological Formation </li></ul><ul><li>Identify Existing Regional Issues or Concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Provide an Un-Biased Community Resource </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a Mechanism to Track Temporal, Spatial, and other Geospatial Variation in Water Quality. </li></ul>
    40. 40. Citizen Database at Wilkes University- Guidelines for Submission II. Guidelines for Data Submission 1. Third Party Samplers following chain-of-custody to certified laboratory. 2. Submit detailed reports from certified laboratory with a GPS position for the well. 3. The water sample must be collected ahead of any water treatment system. 4. other conditions – Learn More by Visiting the Portal Below. Learn More –
    41. 41. Image Source: Recent Baseline Testing in Luzerne County, PA 320 Private Wells Tested Conducted by Certified Laboratories Third Party Samplers Not Wilkes University Study Area
    42. 42. Preliminary – Screenshots – Add Hydrology, Roads, other GIS Layers
    43. 43. Up to 3% influenced by Saline or Brine Water. Source – Wilkes University Database
    44. 44. Most Contamination appears to be associated with Total Coliform Bacteria <ul><li>Insects, Larvae and Nests / Egg Masses </li></ul><ul><li>Mouse Colonies </li></ul><ul><li>Snakes </li></ul><ul><li>Beehives </li></ul><ul><li>Mud - when casing to close to ground </li></ul>Therefore – In some cases - the Private Wells are Facilitating Groundwater Contamination.
    45. 45. Coliform Bacteria <ul><li>Coliform Bacteria Absent or < 1 colony/100 ml </li></ul><ul><li>Testing Purpose Used as an Indicator of Sanitary Condition of Water Source </li></ul><ul><li>Sources Natural Soil Bacteria </li></ul><ul><li>Human and Animal Waste </li></ul><ul><li>Insect Waste </li></ul>49 % - Total Coliform Bacteria 9 % - E. Coli.
    46. 46. pH <ul><li>pH < 7 acidic </li></ul><ul><li>pH > 7 basic </li></ul><ul><li>Drink Water Standard 6.5 – 8.5 </li></ul><ul><li>Problems </li></ul><ul><li>Bitter or Sour Taste </li></ul><ul><li>Corrosion </li></ul><ul><li>Scale Formation </li></ul><ul><li>Leaching Metals- Copper, Lead, Zinc, and Aluminum </li></ul>Nearly 40% could have corrosion Related problems with elevated metals
    47. 47. Corrosive Water <ul><li>Chemical or Biochemical Reaction between the water and metal surfaces. </li></ul><ul><li>The corrosion process is an oxidation/reduction reaction that returns refined or processed metal to their more stable ore state. </li></ul><ul><li>Corrosion can also be accelerated by: </li></ul><ul><li>1) low pH and high pH; </li></ul><ul><li>2) high flow rate within the piping; </li></ul><ul><li>3) high water temperature; </li></ul><ul><li>4) chemistry of the water; and </li></ul><ul><li>4) presence of suspended solids, such as sand. </li></ul>Copper – Typically Blue or Blue-Green Staining May also have elevated levels of Lead and Zinc. Up to 20 %
    48. 48. Water Hardness, Iron, Manganese <ul><li>The hardness of a water is a measure of the concentration of the multivalent cations (Ca +2 , Mg +2 , Fe +2 , Mn +2 , etc) associated with carbonates (HCO 3 - ) . </li></ul><ul><li>Hardness is typically reported as mg /L as CaCO 3 (calcium carbonate) </li></ul><ul><li>Grains per gallon (1 gpg (US) = 17.12 mg CaCO 3 /L ). </li></ul><ul><li>Hardness Classification: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Soft: 0 to 17 mg CaCO 3 /L </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slightly Hard: 17 to 60 mg/L; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moderately Hard 60 to 120 mg/L </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard 120 to 180 mg/L </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very Hard > 180 mg/L </li></ul></ul>Secondary Drinking Water Standard Iron – 0.30 mg/L (red or black) 9 % Manganese – 0.05 mg/L (black) 12 %
    49. 49. What are Phthalates? <ul><li>Used as Plasticizers- is a substance which when added to a material, usually a plastic, makes it flexible and easier to handle. </li></ul><ul><li>Bis(2thylhexylphthalte) (DEHP) – DW Standard – 6 ppb – GI problems, possible endocrine disruptor and carcinogen. </li></ul><ul><li>Recent Testing – Highest Value was 60 ppb. </li></ul><ul><li>How did this get in the aquifer? </li></ul>8 % could have plasticizers
    50. 50. How ? Not Sure – Here are Some Ideas <ul><li>Trace Level or near Detection Limit may be related to contamination during field sampling or laboratory testing, but this does not appear to account for levels at or above the drinking water standard. </li></ul><ul><li>Other Sources </li></ul><ul><li>Private Wells Not Regulated and there are no plumbing codes. </li></ul><ul><li>Sources – PVC plastic piping used in the home. </li></ul><ul><li>Sources – Drop Pipe and Delivery Piping used in the well. </li></ul><ul><li>This is only a hypothesis. Sometimes we also see hits for Vinyl Chloride and Toluene (What the electric Tape !!!!) </li></ul>
    51. 51. Arsenic- up to 6 % Elevated Levels <ul><li>The drinking water MCL is 0.010 mg/L. </li></ul><ul><li>Arsenic can result in the formation of malignant tumors on skin and lungs and may cause nervous system disorders. </li></ul><ul><li>Observable symptoms of arsenic poisoning are: thickening and discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, numbness in hands and feet, partial paralysis, and blindness. </li></ul><ul><li>For this particular parameter within Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA), it would be advisable to retest the water for dissolved and total arsenic. </li></ul><ul><li>In many cases, the arsenic has been leached from a colloid or particle that could be more cost effectively removed by standard filtration. It is also typically bound to iron oxide complexes. </li></ul>
    52. 52. Sulfates in Water – Sulfur Odor <ul><li>Hydrogen sulfide gas also occurs naturally in </li></ul><ul><li>some groundwater. The gas is formed from </li></ul><ul><li>decomposition of organic compounds contained </li></ul><ul><li>within the bedrock. </li></ul><ul><li>Problems are typically found in aquifers that are </li></ul><ul><li>shale, siltstone, peat related, or near surface </li></ul><ul><li>sources of organic material. </li></ul><ul><li>Sulfur-reducing bacteria are primary producers </li></ul><ul><li>of large quantities of hydrogen sulfide. </li></ul><ul><li>Drinking Water Standard is < 250 mg/L (Laxative Effect) </li></ul><ul><li>High Sulfate – Not Common </li></ul><ul><li>Sulfur Bacteria – May be Very Common </li></ul>
    53. 53. Methane in Water <ul><li>Methane has been a hidden issue in NEPA. </li></ul><ul><li>The gas is colorless, tasteless, and odorless and there are no known health effects. </li></ul><ul><li>Potential concerns relate to flammability/ explosiveness of gas. </li></ul><ul><li>Background – appears to range from non-detect to over 20+ mg/L (highly variable) in Northeast Pennsylvania. </li></ul><ul><li>I lit my first well water sample burn in about 1989- thanks to methane gas. </li></ul>
    54. 54. Methane (a little more) <ul><li>The Coal regions and northern portion of NEPA, and areas associated with the Mahantango / Marcellus Shale may have elevated levels of methane. </li></ul><ul><li>No drinking water limit, but Office of Surface Mines recommends monitoring for concentrations from 10 to < 28 mg/L and immediate action for concentrations > 28 mg/L </li></ul><ul><li>My Recommendations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>< 2 mg/L – Monitor annually with passive venting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>> 2 to 7 mg/L – Real-Time Monitoring with passive venting. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>> 7 mg/L to < 10 mg/L – active venting, Isotopic Analysis – “Like fingerprinting the source of the gas” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>> 10 mg/L – Treatment with active venting, plus Isotopic Analysis </li></ul></ul>
    55. 55. Methane Gas Migration- Not Related to Marcellus Shale Private Well Landfill Wetland 600 to 1200 ft 1200 to 3000+ ft Gas from Non-Marcellus Shale Groundwater Flow Lake
    56. 56. It looks like background methane levels are controlled by linear features. Cabot – Quick Look
    57. 57. The Marcellus Shale Factor- The Truth about Private Wels <ul><li>In 1996 – we knew 50% of Private Wells in PA where contaminated – But What Did We DO? </li></ul><ul><li>The Marcellus Shale Factor or the Development of this resource is NOW bringing this problem to the surface. </li></ul><ul><li>Baseline Testing is being conducted and more problems with groundwater quality are being identified. </li></ul><ul><li>What do we do now? What is the Risk? What is the pathways to Contamination/ Impact? How should Risk be Managed? </li></ul><ul><li>What to Test For as Part of Baseline Testing? </li></ul><ul><li>Some Private Wells may be the pathway to Contamination. </li></ul>
    58. 58. Methane Variability- Actual Examples- Well Depths House Septic system Wells (2) 500 ft 300 ft 7 mg/L < 1 mg/L
    59. 59. Well A Well B Well A- 300 feet Methane – 10 to 15 mg/L – the real problem, Barium 4 mg/L, Radon 577 pCi/L, Chloride 250 + mg/L, Bromide 1.5 mg/L, Strontium 5.57 mg/L, Iron – 3.2 mg/L Well B – 200 feet Methane – 6 mg/L, Chloride 30 mg/L, Barium 1.13 mg/L, Strontium 2.15 mg/L, Radon < 60 pCi/L, Iron – 1.39 mg/L Direction of Groundwater Flow - UP Impact Where There is NO Drilling – Baseline Testing Groundwater Flow Towards The Lake Well A may be Impacting Well B Lake
    60. 60. Problem is Some Private Wells are Too DEEP ! How Contaminants Can Up into a Shallow Aquifer
    61. 61. What We Need <ul><li>Private Well Construction Standards </li></ul><ul><li>Well Drilling and Geothermal Well Standards </li></ul><ul><li>Require Water Testing When Well is Drilled- Simple Cost Effective Screening Test. </li></ul><ul><li>Program to Fix Private Wells </li></ul><ul><li>Stop Using Baseline Data as a “Requirement for a Permit or Part of a To Do List”, but as a Tool to Fix and Prevent Problems. </li></ul>
    62. 62. Possible Solutions <ul><li>Citizen Groundwater and Surfacewater Database – Track Change / Identify Areas that Require Assistance- Not for Regulatory Enforcement. </li></ul><ul><li>State-Wide or Local Standards for Well Siting, Construction, and Licensing Well Drillers and Geothermal Installers. </li></ul><ul><li>Use Impact Fee, Severance Tax, State Royalty Monies, or a Portion of Funds Paid for Water Consumptive Use to Fix Private Wells </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a State-wide Citizen Grant Program </li></ul>
    63. 63. At Full Build Out – This water usage by the Industry is equivalent to the daily water usage of 1 – Nuclear Plant
    64. 64. Since Marcellus Shale – Only Will Account for 1 % of Consumptive Use in Pennsylvania <ul><li>Using a portion of the money paid for consumptive use would not unfairly tax or burden just one industry. </li></ul><ul><li>All industries and businesses would help to solve our Problems. </li></ul><ul><li>This is truly – Working as a Community </li></ul>
    65. 65. Quick Questions? <ul><li>Have I mentioned that these problems have nothing to do with Marcellus Shale? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>These background and baseline issues have nothing to do with Marcellus Shale – 50% of Private Wells DO not meet the drinking water standard. </li></ul></ul>
    66. 66. Some Marcellus Shale Issues <ul><li>Movements or Discolored Water Associated with the Physical Process of Drilling. </li></ul><ul><li>Problems Caused by Improve Casing Placement and Cementing </li></ul><ul><li>Issues of Deep or Excessively Deep Private Wells- that are not known. </li></ul><ul><li>Old Abandon Oil/Gas Wells –Mostly Western PA </li></ul>
    67. 67. Marcellus Shale - Cartoons <ul><li>Again – I am not saying I am right, just that I can make a cartoon. </li></ul>
    68. 68. Migration and Disturbance During Drilling- losing circulation Proper Construction Poor Construction Key Points 1. Proper Casing and Cement of Marcellus Shale Wells 2. Knowing How Private Wells Are Constructed 3. Isolation Distances will not Solve This Problem. 4. Fixing Private Wells has to be part of the Solution. 5. This may account for the data on bromide from PSU. 6. The issue may not be well radial distance, but construction and drilling issue. 7. Recommend closed loop drilling with water within freshwater aquifer (no muds) or water-based muds. up to 2000 ft Lined Pit Could this explain the Bromide Issue??
    69. 69. Migration Concepts- Multiple Casements and Recreate Confining Layers- Need Good Cement Bonds- Cement up to Deepest Casement or Surface Older Younger Water Table Private Well Confining Layer More Conventional Reservoir Target
    70. 70. Migration Concepts- Multiple Casements and Recreate Confining Layers – No Uncemented Zones. Older Younger Water Table Most Private Wells Shallow Gas Very Deep Private Wells The other Problem – Private Wells that are Too Deep – I aware of some private wells that are over 900 feet deep.
    71. 71. Related to Marcellus Shale <ul><li>Yes – Baseline Testing at a Further Distance – I proposed 3000 feet and 2 years in 2009 with testing every 6 months. </li></ul><ul><li>Yes – Assumed Responsibility over a Larger Time Frame- 2 years with screening test every 6 months. </li></ul><ul><li>Yes – Liners and Self- Contained Drilling Pads </li></ul><ul><li>Yes- Closed Loop Drilling and Water Reuse- change PA Laws to Project Waters with a TDS of less than 10,000 mg/L – this is consistent with the EPA UIC Program. </li></ul><ul><li>Yes – Cement Bound Logs and More Disclosure- put copy of permit at a local Twp or Municipal Building </li></ul><ul><li>Yes – Higher Permit Fees so Inspectors Working for the Citizens are On Site or Fees to Pay for Contractors Hired by the State that Carry a PA Professional License. </li></ul>Problem – This does nothing to fix the Problems we have in PA with Private Wells that is not caused by the Marcellus Shale Development.
    72. 72. My Primary Concern with Respect to Radius and Assumed Liable is “Who is Responsible” Company A Company B Private Well Rather than a fixed radius – we should just use plat area. ?
    73. 73. Again <ul><ul><li>Up to 1.5 Million - Citizens in PA Drink Water that may cause short </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>term or chronic disease. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This needs to have attention – NOW! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is not a Marcellus Shale Issue- it is a Health Care and Economic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Issue for the State of Pennsylvania. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We NEED to Work as a Community and Fix The Problems We </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Created. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do we really want to Control Health Care Cost?? </li></ul></ul>
    74. 74. New Community Resource Download a Free Copy (pdf) – email [email_address] <ul><li>Also: </li></ul><ul><li>BFE are Working on a Regional Citizen </li></ul><ul><li>Water Quality Database. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>2. BFE provides education outreach programs for </li></ul><ul><li>private well owners. </li></ul><ul><li>3. BFE is working on an update to the booklet – it </li></ul><ul><li>will be available for Community Education Programs. </li></ul>Add Your Data to the Citizen Database- Contact Mr. Brian Oram at [email_address] or [email_address]
    75. 75. Presented by: <ul><li>Mr. Brian Oram, Professional Geologist (PG), Soil Scientist, Licensed Well Driller, IGSHPA </li></ul><ul><li>B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Water Research Center </li></ul>