Pennsylvania has over one million private water wells and springs that provide drinking water for rural homes and farms. As a result of increased gas drilling, many private water supply owners have questions about water testing that may be done on their water supply in addition to voluntary testing that they may want to conduct independently.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has a laboratory accreditation program for water testing labs to ensure data accuracy.
Water test reports of water near gas drilling activity generally have these common parameters.
With discovery of new drilling technologies to reach previously untapped gas reserves, the number of gas wells is expected to rise dramatically over the next several decades.
Find a water testing laboratory accredited by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA-DEP). Follow this link and page down to “Search Environmental Laboratories” and click the link for Quick-Reference List. You can sort the list of labs by county and choose a Commercial or Academic lab.
This booklet explains how and why to test water for chemicals, bacteria, and other pollutants. Topics include reasons to test your water, using a certified laboratory, the typical water test report, drinking water standards, and descriptions of common pollutants.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has developed the following list of parameters that are recommended for homeowners who wish to have their private well tested. The following list is not an exhaustive list of testing, homeowners may wish to have their water tested for a more extensive list of parameters.
Methane gas is the main component in natural gas. It occurs naturally in some shallow rock layers that are penetrated by water wells. Methane can be dissolved in the groundwater in private water wells at various concentrations as a natural condition.
This website provides interpretation of water test results you have received from a water testing laboratory. Use this tool to enter results from water testing and get a report that interprets what your results mean.
Fact sheet by the New York State Water Resources Institute
December 2011 fact sheet from the Ohio Department of Health
28-page PDF copy of a final report to the Center for Rural Pennsylvania on the study of 233 water wells near gas drilling sites.
2011 study by Duke University researchers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Recorded webinar and support materials related to interpreting water test reports associated with gas well drilling.