Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sheriff: No improvement in water quality

A special post for all those people who are under the impression that natural gas drilling cannot contaminate aquifers. Thirty-five private water wells contaminated at once. Ouch. As my 7 year old would say, "35 is not a few. 3 is a few."

Caddo evacuated area could expand
By Bobbie J. Clark • and Loresha Wilson • April 20, 2010

"We have been testing the water and are not satisfied; we have not made any progress," Sheriff Steve Prator said.
Crews have stopped gas from seeping from the well that led to an evacuation Monday, Prator said. But that does not seem to have diluted the concentration in the water.
The leaking led to the voluntary evacuation of about 100 families in south Caddo Parish.
The evacuated roads include Cypress Garden, Willow Ridge, Debroeck, Norris Ferry south of Southern Trace, Pueblo, Lasso, Lariat, Goldsberry and Goldsberry Circle.
Prator said more residents could get be evaculated depending on what further testing shows.
"At this point we are not say your homes are safe," the sheriff said.
It all started early Monday when emergency officials were notified by Exco Resources Inc. that gas vapors had been detected at a well site on Norris Ferry Road because of high pressure in the well.
Exco was able to relieve the pressure, but then the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality discovered that natural gas had leaked into the Wilcox Aquifer, affecting several private water wells in the area. The gas well in question sits on a superpad site with two other wells.
"We don't want to alarm anyone, but we also don't want to take it lightly," Prator said. "This is a serious situation. We are erring on the side of caution by telling people there is natural gas in a number of the (water) wells out there."
By late Monday, officials with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality had tested about 45 private water wells. Of those, 35 tested positive for natural gas.
Prator did not rule out an expansion of the voluntary evacuation area.
The evacuees were directed to the Hilton Hotel in downtown Shreveport, where Exco officials planned to give them more information about accommodations.
Prator said families that did not evacuate should not use their water for any reason. Officials planned to monitor the situation overnight and give an update this morning. More>>>