Duke fracking study finds no contamination of ground water due to fracking
Duke fracking study finds no contamination of ground water due to fracking.
CLARKSBURG — Fracking has not contaminated groundwater in Northwestern West Virginia, according to a recently released study by scientists at Duke University.
To conduct the study, Duke scientists worked with researchers from The Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University and the French Geological Survey.
The researchers collected samples from 112 drinking wells in the northwestern region of the state over the course of three years.
Vengosh said the researchers designed and built their own specialized tools to detect a vast array of contaminants, including salts, trace metals, methane and propane.
“They are kind of a forensic tracer to detect whether or not there is an impact of shale gas and fracking on groundwater quality.” The analysis showed that methane and saline were present in both the pre-drilling and post-drilling wells, but that their chemistry was different than that of chemicals used in fracking fluids and shale gas, Vengosh said.
“We found a high level of natural gas and saline in groundwater, but we found that those were naturally occurring and not related to fracking,” he said.
“That’s something you don’t want to have in your home.” Anyone who is concerned about the quality of their well water should have it professionally tested, Vengosh said.
That was due to how the particular wells were constructed, Vengosh said.
“Apparently they did a much better job in West Virginia.” Anne Blankenship, executive director of the West Virginia Oil and Gas Association, said the results of the study were encouraging to professionals in her field.