USGS study finds high methane in groundwater water wells isolated from drilling

By on January 7, 2014

Tap water (Credit: Joe Cheng, via Flickr)

A U.S. Geological Survey study found that some New York groundwater contains dangerous levels of methane gas, regardless of proximity to oil or gas drilling operations, reported.

The USGS study found explosive levels of methane in 15 percent of groundwater samples. The samples were taken from 66 household wells in upstate New York, none of which were within a mile of natural gas wells. Four of the tested wells contained enough methane that water from a connected tap could be lit with a match.

Nearly 30 percent of valley wells tested contained dangerous levels of methane, while no upland wells did, indicating topographical significance in methane concentration. The testing was conducted across 1,800 square miles in the summer of 2012.

Image: Tap water (Credit: Joe Cheng, via Flickr)

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  1. Pingback: A Test for Shale Gas Skeptics – Part II | Natural Gas NowNatural Gas Now

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