Questionable Well Casings???

There is continued concern over the safety of well casings especially over long periods of time. Other concerns that come with the territory are what the cost of maintaining these wells will be to PA tax payers and how will DEP be able to keep on top of all the wells with such a limited number of inspectors? What about the potential health hazards to PA residents from toxic/dangerous gases leaking out of poorly cased wells as well as possible contamination to outside water sources?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02/24/2010
DEP Hires Contractor to Quickly Plug Abandoned Well
Action Will Prevent Potential Gas Migration in Residential Area of Moon Township

PITTSBURGH — The Department of Environmental Protection announced today that it is acting immediately to plug an abandoned oil well that is releasing natural gas into the air near a residential neighborhood in Moon Township, Allegheny County….  DEP began receiving numerous odor complaints from residents beginning Feb. 6 and a subsequent inspection showed that a hole had been eroded into the casing, allowing the release of pressurized gas.


To read the full DEP release, click here:

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/newsroom/14287?id=9320&typeid=1

The next article also brings up the question of well casings and how safe they are long term.

DEP Orders Company to Restore Water Supplies at Two Homes in McKean County

February 26, 2010 at 4:48 AM by Gant Team

MEADVILLE — The Department of Environmental Protection has ordered Schreiner Oil and Gas Co. to provide a permanent solution to water supply issues at two homes the company’s drilling activity impacted near Hedgehog Lane, McKean County.

DEP previously determined that the company, based in Massillon, Ohio, was liable for affecting the water supplies of homes in that area of Bradford Township. Water supplies at seven homes have been restored, but the problem remains unresolved at two other residences.

“The families in this neighborhood have had their lives disrupted for too long,” DEP Regional Director Kelly Burch said. “While Schreiner had installed treatment systems at these two homes, they were only a partial solution. The order calls on Schreiner to rectify the situation completely.”

To read the rest of this article click here:

http://gantdaily.com/2010/02/26/dep-orders-company-to-restore-water-supplies-at-two-homes-in-mckean-county/

Getting the water in your well tested?

If you are having a gas well put in on your property, I hope you are also having the water in your well tested prior to any drilling. Despite the costly manner of having your well water tested I would say that it should be a mandatory procedure. A basic test can be anywhere from $300.00 to $1,000.00. If you live next to someone else who is having a well put on their property you should also seriously consider having your well water tested.

There has been some discussion and worries about what sort of metals of chemicals and toxins should be tested for and who should/can to do the tests. Seewald laboratories out of Williampsort, PA offers well water testing that covers all the basic tests AND the procedures used by Seewald to test the water are acceptable and will hold up in a court of law. If you are using some of the other “mom & pop” testing companies who may not always follow all the correct procedures, such as “chain of custody”, or doing it yourself (which can be much more affordable – $80.00) the chances of the test being useful for a court case is pretty insignificant. The phone number for Seewald is 570.326.4001. If you think the chance of needing to take the gas company drilling on your land, or your neighbors, is not likely, check out this link.

http://www.topix.com/com/cog

Penn State Cooperative Extention has published this, which you might find useful if you are wanting more information about water well contamination, what’s in the ground that can get in your well and water testing.

http://resources.cas.psu.edu/WaterResources/pdfs/gasdrilling.pdf