A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Texas Arlington of private water wells in Texas has shown that elevated levels of contaminants are prevalent close to natural gas extraction sites, according to a release from the university.
Researchers tested 100 private water wells throughout North Texas during the summer and fall of 2011. After reviewing the well samples, researchers concluded that metals such as arsenic, barium, selenium and strontium were present in higher than normal concentrations in many of the wells, especially in those located within 3 kilometers of natural gas extraction sites.
Scientists believe the high level of contaminants could be caused by insufficient gas well casings, disturbed particles in neglected water well equipment or the lowering of water tables.
Image: Gas drilling rig in the Marcellus Shale Formation in Pennsylvania (Credit: Ruhrfisch, Wikimedia Commons)