WVU Extension Services is collaborating with Penn State officials to educate West Virginians on their private water suppliers and gas well drilling.

West Virginia is home of one of the largest Marcellus Shale natural gas deposits on the East Coast. West Virginia citizens and landowners have voiced many questions about the gas exploration process, fundamentals of leasing, and environmental concerns, including its effect on their private wells.

According to officials from the Penn State Extension Service, across the nation, 1/4 of private drinking water sources have never been tested. Officials from Penn State University came to Marion County Monday night to improve that statistic and help people understand the regulations and testing of their private wells.

Bryan Swistock, a water research specialist from Penn State Extension, said that many people don’t understand what is already wrong with their water supplies and often find out as they’re getting prepared for the gas drilling and start to do testing for it.

Swistock said some of the chemicals used in fracking to keep gas wells clean are controversial, and recommends testing private wells and springs every year for certain types of bacteria and every three years for additional pollutants.

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by Colombo Law
Last updated on - Originally published on