A lot of debate has taken place over the possible effects that drilling for gas may have on the quality of well water in the area. Some say nothing should happen to the water quality and others believe water quality near and far will suffer.

In Honesdale, PA, an area slated to have gas wells installed very soon, a meeting will take place in June and at that meeting water quality experts will go over details related to the drilling and inform local residents about well water testing options.

An informational program titled: Home Water Well Testing in the Gas Well Area is being held June 15.

Jointly hosted by Penn State Cooperative Extension and the Wayne Conservation District, the program is being offered at two separate locations and times: Damascus School in Damascus from 2 to 4 p.m. or the Park Street Complex in Honesdale from 7 to 9 p.m.

“We feel that people should be more aware of general water testing with their wells. They should be testing every so often to make sure that their drinking water is of a good quality. But also, it’s obvious that we need to do this with the gas wells …gas drilling coming in,” said Jamie Knecht, district watershed specialist.

Pat Mohn, Penn State Cooperative Extension, said a standard well test costs $50, whereas testing geared more towards an oil and gas drilling area would run around $65. Such a test would include testing for: coliform bacteria, E. coli, total dissolved solids, barium and chlorides.

There are a lot of different packages and prices, she said. Testing for heavy metals, including arsenic would cost around $130.

The meeting’s agenda includes: how gas wells can impact groundwater wells, regulations to protect private wells, potential pollutants, testing strategies, how to collect water samples, and interpretation of water test results. ( source )

When situations like this come up, and no one ‘really’ knows what will happen to water quality in an area, we suggest that you don’t take chances with the quality of your water and err on the side of caution… especially since a variety of water quality experts already suggest periodic testing — ‘just to make sure’.

Certified Lab Testing Versus At-Home Drinking Water Test Kits

Hands down, and we mean WAY down, in cases where unknown contaminants of a natural sort (chlorides, arsenic, metals, etc.), possibly some of a non-natural sort, ‘might’ find their way into the aquifer from which you draw your well water, all of us here at Water Testing Blog believe nothing takes the place of thorough water testing conducted by a certified water testing lab. We applaud the efforts of officials in the Honesdale, PA area to educate the public on their lab testing options.

For everyone else not in the Honesdale, PA area, and perhaps even a few folks IN the Honesdale, PA area who fear a potential conspiracy/cover-up, other lab testing options exist such as National Testing Laboratories and Suburban Water Testing.