B.F. Environmental Builds Expertise into New Water Quality Mobile App – Know Your H20?

B.F. Environmental Builds Expertise into New Water Quality Mobile App

Company experts have developed a new tool that will help families stay healthy

 

WILKES-BARRE, PA—September 22, 2015—B.F. Environmental Consultants, an environmental consulting firm providing a range of services throughout the Northeast, announced today the launch of a new mobile app that will make it possible for homeowners to get answers about the quality of their drinking water. Brian Oram, a professional geologist and soil scientist and founder of B.F. Environmental Consultants, developed this new diagnostic tool, called “Know Your H2O?”

“Consumers have fully embraced mobile technologies. If we want to help them, we’re going to have to make our information available to them through their IOS and Android devices,” Oram said. “This new app will put actionable information about water quality into the hands of homeowners all across the country. I’m very proud of this new product.”

Know Your H2O? relies heavily upon the massive online water quality resource the company has made available through the launch of its Water Research Center website. The first version of the software helps consumers diagnose potential water quality problems by exploring aesthetic problems, physical problems, health concerns, or specific problems in their homes. The app is supported by additional content that is directly linked to the Water Research Center.

“This tool helps consumers diagnose problems, but then goes beyond that to provide recommendations for further testing or corrective action,” Oram said. “The app is based on a holistic approach and is guided by concerns about our water, homes, and health. It is a comprehensive tool that can be used by any homeowner, building inspector, water quality professional, or water treatment professional to diagnose a problem and determine next steps.”

For more information about the mobile app or to download your own free copy, visit: http://knowyourh2o.us

About B.F. Environmental Consultants, Inc.

B.F. Environmental Consultants, based in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Poconos, has been providing professional geological, soils, hydrogeological, and environmental consulting services since 1985. The company specializes in the following areas: hydrogeological and wastewater evaluations for siting land-based wastewater disposal systems; soils consulting (soil scientists), environmental monitoring, overseeing the siting, exploration, and development of community/ commercial water supply sources; environmental training/ professional training courses, and other environmental services. For more information about B.F. Environmental Consultants, visit www.bfenvironmental.com and www.water-research.net.

Carbon County Pennsylvania Groundwater Help to Hometown

The Keystone Clean Water Team has its roots in Carbon County, Pennsylvania.  The organization is attempting to educate and inform private well owners about issues related to water quality.  We were just recently contacted by someone in the Hometown Area that was having a problem.  He called and discussed the issues which appeared series.  we asked the person to email us with the details = but we have not received the information.

So – We decided to post this message !

1. If you called the Keystone Clean Water Team looking for help and spoke with Brian – please email us a cleanwater@carbonwaters.org.   Please provide a full description of the problem and type of information you have available and your street mailing address.
2. If you are having a problem with your well water in Carbon County, PA- please provide us a description of the problem and your mailing address.
3. We do not have the funds to fix any problems, but we do have the opportunity to compile the problems and attempt to compare the problems to known historic environmental hazards in the area.
4. If you are outside of Carbon County, PA and are having a problem – we would be happy to review any data, but we would also suggest running a Neighborhood Environmental Hazard Report.

Everything we do began with an idea.

Keystone Clean Water Team is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.    Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission), but we also do local educational workshops and local cellphone/small electronic recycling programs. If you would like to set up a program to help recycle cellphones at an event, business, or other organization.  Through our program we can recycle  cell phones, iPods, game systems, and small digital cameras.  If your interested, please contact us.  Our new PSAs.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!
For more information, please go to KCWT’s About Page or contact us.  Follow us on Twitter 

Nationwide Program – Neighborhood Environmental Report Your Home Health Status

Nationwide Program – The Keystone Clean Water Team is in pre-launch for a new USA program to help homeowners.  The program helps you to identify the existing and historic environmental hazards in your community.   We are working with a national environmental database search company to offer a report to help you understand your home’s or your future homes environmental health status within a community.  We are doing this by taking a snapshot of the current and historic environmental concerns and hazards in the community and a review of select criminal activity.

The program, Neighborhood Environmental Report™, offers a search of over 1,400 databases and millions of records of potential land and groundwater contamination within 1 mile radius of the entered address.  The report  includes a search for concerns that might be dangerous to a homeowner’s family or investment such as nearby leaking underground oil tanks, leaky underground fuel tanks (LUSTs), leaky above ground tanks (LASTs),  CDC Health Assessment Database,  landfills, hazardous waste sites, DOD facilities, gas and radiological sources, National Wetland Mapping, Flooding mapping data, drug houses, and clandestine drug labs.

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Healthy Communities = Healthy Kids and Families

Some of the most toxic and/or costly hazards exists outside of your home.  These contaminants can enter your home through direct human or animal contract or vapor intrusion into your home through the air, soil, or groundwater.  These hazards pose a threat to you and your family’s health and the value of your property.    Every report includes detailed information about what has been searched and identified as well as contact information for all governmental and private organizations cited in the databases.

The benefits of this report:

1. Help existing homeowners understand the hazards in their communities.
2. Aid future homeowners quickly learn about the historic hazards and concerns to conduct prior water quality, soils, or environmental testing and get the proper inspections.
3. Aid real estate professionals, investors, and appraisers evaluate the value of a home or residential property.
4. If you are selling your home, what a great way to introduce your home and surrounding community to any potential buyers, and as a home buyer, the Neighborhood Environmental Report helps provide peace of mind for you and your family.
5. For environmental groups, this is a great way to educate and inform your community about existing environmental hazards, develop local targeted sub-watershed monitoring programs, and educate children about their communities.  In some cases a larger search area is needed.
6. Home inspectors, environmental laboratories, and other may find the reports useful, but in many cases some additional review or interpretation will be needed to select the appropriate testing parameters, inspections, and monitoring.

(Example Report Dallas Pennsylvania)

We ran this report for a small business owner that was looking to purchase a residential property in Shavertown, PA.  The property was going to be purchased for cash.  We completed the search and search identified a specific potential problem with a past but active leak at a gasoline station.  This lead the buyer to ask for more information.   When the right questions were asked, it was determined that there may be some environmental hazards that could impact the value of the property.  In addition, the preliminary search suggested that the property could be located  in a floodplain.  The quote from the buyer – “The preliminary information and educational materials allowed me to better understand my risk and allow me to find a new property in a timely manner and save over $ 200,000.00” (GW, Shavertown, PA, 2015).

During the period from 2010 to 2011 – the following are the states with the most “Meth Lab” busts:  Missouri, Tennessee , Indiana , Kentucky, Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

We are in pre-launch on this service.  During pre-launch we are offering to complete compile this report for a fee of only $ 55.00.   After pre-launch and website design, we think the final cost will be $ 75 and up.  If you are interested, please do the following:

1. Order the product using this paypal link.




Cost of Each Report is only $ 55.00
 

2. Contact Mr. Brian Oram at the Keystone Clean Water Team (KCWT) at cleanwater@carbonwaters.org and provide the mailing address for the property, your contact information, email address, and phone number.   We can provide this service for the USA.  For some areas, we may need more information.

Terms and Conditions

1. Reports do not meet the terms and conditions of an environmental audit for real estate translations.
2. Reports can not be resold and the copyright will be maintained by the Keystone Clean Water Team.
3. Any analyses, estimates, ratings or risk codes provided in this Report are provided for illustrative purposes only, and are not intended to provide, nor should they be interpreted as providing any facts regarding, or prediction or forecast of, any environmental risk for any property. Only a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment performed by an environmental professional can provide information regarding the environmental risk for any property. This Report is not a replacement for a home inspection. This Report does not provide information pertaining to the interior of the target property such as, but not limited to: mold, asbestos, lead, radon or other issues. Additionally, the information provided in this Report is not to be construed as legal advice.
4. This report contains certain information described herein pertaining solely to the exterior of the target property, which information was obtained from a variety of public and other sources reasonably available to the database search company. The company. does not produce, maintain or verify the information contained in these sources; and assumes, without independent investigation, that the information in such sources is accurate and complete.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We have offered “Free” Assistance to this effort, but if you are a private well owner that needs assistance we are happy to help.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. KCWT’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests, posting articles on social media, or assisting with a local event !

For more information, please go to KCWT’s About Page or contact us.  Follow us on Twitter 

Keystone Clean Water Team is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.    Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission), but we also do local educational workshops and local cellphone/small electronic recycling programs. If you would like to set up a program to help recycle cellphones at an event, business, or other organization.  Through our program we can recycle  cell phones, iPods, game systems, and small digital cameras.  If your interested, please contact us.  Our new PSAs.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!

DEP Releases File – 243 Cases Where Natural Gas Development Impact Private Wells Pennsylvania

This story was released on August 28, 2014 by the Associated Press.  The link to the story is “Online list IDs water wells harmed by drilling”  (Looks like article was removed- 9/28/2014).   First- I am not a fan of the title, but the list does provide insights into the number of private wells that the PADEP has concluded were directly influenced by oil and gas development in Pennsylvania during the period from 2008 to 2014-  Regional_Determination_Letters .   Also, this story was pre-dated by a very good story in the Sunday Times in May 19, 2013.

May 2013 Story

As of May 2013, the PADEP had determined that 161 private wells had been adversely impacted by oil and natural gas development in PA over the period from 2008 to 2o12. But during this period, over 1000 cases or problems with private wells were evaluated.   A quote from the article

“Inspectors declared the vast majority of complaints – 77 percent of 969 records – unfounded, lacking enough evidence to tie them definitively to drilling or caused by a different source than oil and gas exploration, like legacy pollution, natural conditions or mining.  One in six investigations across the roughly five-year period – 17 percent of the records – found that oil and gas activity disrupted water supplies either temporarily or seriously enough to require companies to replace the spoiled source.”

Question Number 1 – what caused or is causing 77% of the problem? – Is this NOT important?  Answer – NO one seems to be asking.
Question Number 2 – How many were temporary?

Statement 1: The 2013 and 2014 article proves what we have been saying since 2009.  Oil and gas development has the potential to adversely impact private wells.  The cause is most likely related or associated with drilling, methane migration associated with cementing / casing issues, spills, pipeline construction (shallow excavation) and the use of impoundments to store waste. We have been saying this since 2009 and so has the PADEP.   Also, we recommended baseline testing parameters based on the pathways that were cited and suspected.

Statement 2:  The common problems appear to be methane, Lower Explosion Limit, iron, manganese, aluminum, arsenic, and turbidity. We included these parameters in our baseline testing list, plus saline water indicates such as bromide and lithium well before PADEP, PSU, and others.

Statement 3: No credible source has ever said Oil and Gas Development could not adversely impact a private well.  What has been said – there is not evidence that that hydraulic fracturing portion of the development has caused a problem.  There has been many historic cases related to loss of circulation during drilling, mud migration, spills, surface disturbance, methane gas migration because of cement issues, spills, and releases from impoundments.

August 2014 Story

Statement 1:  After looking at the 2014 article and the individual determination letters from PADEP for the Eastern Portion of Pennsylvania  (excluding the first 19 because this is the Dimock Data- We Did a Well by Well Evaluation of the EPA Dimock Data)- we found the following:

Eastern Data Set –

Stated Cause
Drilling – 84
Impoundment Leak – 1
Spill/ Surface Containment Issue – 1
LEL – > 10% LEL in wellhead – 4

Presumption – The Operator was presumed to be at fault – 20 %
Temporary Problem that resolved – 26 %  (but still a problem for a period of up to a year)

Methane at any level – 78 cases
Methane > 28 mg/L – 24 cases
Methane > 10 mg/L – 68 cases
Methane < 10 mg/L – 6 cases
Methane < 5 mg/L – 2 cases

Iron – 30 cases – 28 %
Manganese – 41 cases – 38 %
Aluminum – 15 cases – 14%
Barium – 3 cases – 2.8 %
Total Dissolved Solids -TDS – 4 cases – 3.7 %
Chloride – 2 cases – < 2 %
Zinc – 1 case – < 1 %

From a review of the letters of determination, it appears that the PADEP made the determination in less than 2 months.  I believe there is a regulatory requirement to make a determination in 45 days or less.

Other Interesting Notes

1. In one well the methane ranged from 0.29 to 148 mg/L
2. Two cases wellhead LEL was the determining factor and in one case the methane level in water was less than 2 mg/L – probably a venting issue.
3. Two springs were impacted.
4. Barium – two cases had pre-drill problems.
5. Only 1 case where organics were the issue – associated with a fire suppression activity because of loss of control at the wellhead.  Suppressant was used at the surface.

What this tells us:
1. Most of the problems appear to be related to iron and manganese – these makes it difficult because it is a common and intermittent water quality problem in the region.
2. Methane is another factor – but it is critical to document both methane and all other gas issues and LEL levels.
3. Other parameters of importance include aluminum (we recommend in 2009) and barium, chloride, total dissolved solids, and zinc.
4. The process seems to work, but it would be great to have access to the raw data.

Again – trying to provide a fact based review of the information and use wisely.  The main questions:
1. How many other wells reported a problem?
2. How many of these wells had a problem unrelated to oil and gas development?  What was the cause?
3. How many private wells were impacted by other permitted activities or road salting efforts over the period from 2008 to 2014?

Final Question – If we do not create private well construction standards and fix the poorly constructed private wells – Will we really Ever Control this Potential Pathway for Groundwater Contamination.

Action You can Take!

1. Get your Well Water Baseline Testing Completed.
2. Have the data reviewed.
3. Release the Data -Data Only to the Citizens Database
4. Learn the Facts and Monitor Your Well Water Quality – Work as a Community!
5. Support the Keystone Clean Water Team – Facebook, Twitter, and maybe a Donation?

Volunteer

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving KCWT/CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We need individuals to provide copies of our brochure and information at local events, consider hosting a presentation, and sharing our facebook and twitter posts.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. KCWT/ CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.

For more information, please go to KCWT/CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

 

 

 

How to Clean Out a Private Well – Suspected of PCB Oil Contamination- From Well Pump

How to Clean Out a Private Well – Suspected of PCB Oil Contamination

This post was developed following a private well owner outreach program in Pennsylvania.  Where the homeowner suspected this was a problem.

Prior to the 1978 ban most of the well pumps used a PCB capacitor.    After 1978, the capacitors were required to be marked at the time of manufactured to state that the did not contain PCB, i.e., “No PCBs”. In some cases the the PCB capacitors would leak the PCB (oil coolant) into the motor.  If the motor or motor seal fail, the coolant would leak into the well.   This would introduce PCBs to your water.  When the water is heated, vapors would be generated or you may observe an oil residue or film.  Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of manufactured organic chemicals that contain 209 individual chlorinated chemicals (known as congeners). Concentrated PCBs are either oily liquids or solids and are colorless to light yellow in color. They have no known smell or taste. “PCBs are not very water-soluble so it is quite rare for them to be found in groundwater. Some submersible pumps found in private wells have been recalled because PCB containing oils had been used in their manufacture. When these pumps fail these oils can leak out into the drinking water. ”  The available data suggests that  PCBs are probable human carcinogens and can suppress the immune system.

“The procedure for cleaning a well and plumbing contaminated with PCB oil is essentially the same as for “clean” oil with the exception of certain requirements concerning storage and disposal explained later in this document. The professional servicing the well should follow the procedure outlined here:

Step 1 Remove the failed pump from the well. Place it into a DOT-approved 55-gallon drum for disposal. Allow water within the well to remain still for a least 24 hours.

Step 2 Remove all free floating oil from the surface of the water in the well using a bailer and/or oil absorbent pad or boom. Place it into the drum with the pump.

Step 3 Make certain that there is no floating oil layer in any plumbing fixtures such as water heater or toilet. If there is, remove with oil absorbent pad.

Step 4 Put approximately 8 ounces of dishwashing liquid per 100 gallons of well volume into the well. (Assume 1.5 gallons/ft. of water for a 6″ diameter will and 53 gallons/ft. for a 36″ diameter well.) Detergent should be pre-mixed in a little hot water to be sure that it creates the maximum suds.

Step 5 Recirculate the well water using a garden or other hose connected to a hose bib while running the water back into the well. Allow it to agitate for 1 hour. In the case of a low yielding well or during a period of drought, be sure to take precautions not to run the well dry. The length of time for agitation may need to be reduced in some cases. Place the hose into the drum for disposal when finished.

Step 6 Wash down the sides of the well with a clean or new garden hose, preferably equipped with a pressure nozzle.

Step 7 If household plumbing has not been contaminated, skip step 7 and proceed to step 8. If household plumbing is also contaminated, run the soapy well water through the plumbing system for 3-4 hours, until it is no longer soapy. This can be accomplished by running all the faucets (not so long that the well runs dry) and periodically flushing the toilets. Run both hot and cold faucets so that the hot water heater is cleaned as well. If after step 7 water still runs soapy, turn off faucets and proceed to step 8.

Step 8 Pump soapy water directly from the well to a municipal sewer, or if not available, run a hose so that the water may be discharged directly to the septic tank.

Step 9 Obtain a water sample directly from the well then properly seal the well (i.e. chlorination, etc.). Also, a sample should be collected from a household tap.

Step 10 Run empty loads in both the dishwasher and washing machine using only the normal soap for each.

The homeowner should submit the water samples to a laboratory for PCB analysis to confirm the success of the cleaning and the safety of their water. They must also contact a permitted transporter to arrange for proper disposal of the drum of PCB waste.

Source of the protocol:
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Bureau of Materials Management and Compliance Assurance
PCB Program
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106-5127″

“Protocol posted for informational purposes – it is critical for the homeowner to hire an expert to assist with this work”. This is not a DIY – Do it Yourself Project.

 

Low cost PCB screening Test– includes metal, other organics, and general water quality.

Hydraulic Fracturing Defined Fracking Words Matter Debate on Energy, Environmental, Humans

The word fracking – First, I personally and professionally dislike the word for a number of reasons. First it is jargon and second it is industry slang.  The word lends itself to redefinition and misuse.

Definitions – We are defining slang terms?

1) frack·ing, noun \ˈfra-kiŋ\ the injection of fluid into shale beds at high pressure in order to free up petroleum resources (such as oil or natural gas)  (Source: http://grist.org/news/the-dictionary-finally-admits-fracking-is-here-to-stay/)

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My comments – not a bad definition – but the process is called hydraulic fracturing – they miss the issue of the use of chemicals to change the characteristics of water to reduce friction loss and prevent bacterial growth.  Also – there  is no Freeing up of a resource – the process creates an artificial pathway that causes the fuel to escape through the pipe or borehole rather than taking millions of years to migrate up through the rock strata.  Also – does not indicate that the process is regulate under the EPA UIC Program under special cases.

2) Fracking is the process by which the oil and gas industry undermines the public right to safe drinking water, clean air and healthy communities by using toxic chemicals and large volumes of water to extract unsustainable fossil fuels from the earth for profit.(Source: Food & Water Watch – http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blogs/fracking-shows-its-viral-nature)

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This is a great example of the lack of fact, but more about environmental spin doctors.  Now – this is not only an approach used by certain organizations.  Definition is more about a philsophical point than an actual definition that explains the process, but presents the potential things could happen.  The only part that is correct is “toxic chemicals are used”, “large volumes of water are used (but more is used to produce other sources of electricity), “extract fossil fuels”, “fossil fuels are not infinitely sustainable (but neither is any building or structure we build or even our cities), it does happen on earth, and it is done for a profit.  (Profit is not bad – non-profit organizations make a profit – they do not call it profit and this is a Capitalist society).   This definition tells you more about the Organization than the process.

3) Fracking – A slang term for hydraulic fracturing. Fracking refers to the procedure of creating fractures in rocks and rock formations by injecting fluid into cracks to force them further open. The larger fissures allow more oil and gas to flow out of the formation and into the wellbore, from where it can be extracted. (Source: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fracking.asp)
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Misses the mark related to the nature of the chemicals that are used and the use of a propent to hold the fractures open so the gas and oil can migrate out of the formation into the borehole or pipeline, i.e., the artificial low pressure point, and not up through thousands of feet of rock.  I do like they indicate it is a slang term and the proper term is hydraulic fracturing.  It is a procedure – it is part of a process – NOT the whole process.

4) Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.The process is carried out vertically or, more commonly, by drilling horizontally to the rock layer. The process can create new pathways to release gas or can be used to extend existing channels. (Source; http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-14432401)

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It is a process Yes – no mention of the slang nature of the work and the correct term – hydraulic fracturing.  It is NOT a Drilling Process – this is JUST Wrong.  Yes – Water, sand and chemicals are injected.  Chemicals are toxic    The sentence starting – “the process …..”  Is Just Wrong !

5) Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth. Fracking makes it possible to produce natural gas extraction in shale plays that were once unreachable with conventional technologies. Recent advancements in drilling technology have led to new man-made hydraulic fractures in shale plays that were once not available for exploration. In fact, three dimensional imaging helps scientists determine the precise locations for drilling. (Source: http://www.what-is-fracking.com/)

*****
No mention it is a slang term- statement is true, but does it create a definition?  I do like the mention of the word recent.  Because it is the recent improvements in the process that makes this feasible.

6) Hydraulic Fracturing – a method of mining in which cracks are created in a type of rock called shale in order to obtain gas, oil, or other substances that are inside it (Source: http://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/fracking)

*****
Used the correct work – definition is clearly wrong.  The definition makes it sound like the old water mining techniques that were used in the 1800s to mine for gold by eroding mountains with high pressure water.

7)  fracking, fracking also spelled fracing or fraccing, also called hydrofracking, in full hydraulic fracturing,  in natural gas and petroleum production, the injection of a fluid at high pressure into an underground rock formation in order to open fissures and allow trapped gas or crude oil to flow through a pipe to a wellhead at the surface. Employed in combination with improved techniques for drilling horizontally through selected rock layers, hydraulic fracturing has opened up vast natural gas deposits in the United States. At the same time, the rapid rise of the practice, frequently in regions with no history of intensive oil and gas drilling, has raised concerns over its economic and environmental consequences.

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Not a bad definition – lacks clarity on the nature of the fluid, but then goes on to add the “positive spin” of the Industry.  I do like the closing sentence – “The Rapid Rise” of the practice in areas with “no historic knowledge of the process” has created concerns that are economic and environmental.

If you are going to allow a definition to present a point – then – it would be appropriate to add to this “definition” at the end. These same individuals or communities did not care or were not concerned when these activities that produced fossil fuels for their consumption occurred in other communities or countries and these same communities were happy to develop in a manner that made them dependent on other communities to sustain themselves, i.e., NIMBY.

8. hydraulic fracturing – Also referred to as hydrofracking, hydrofracturing, and fracking, is a well development process that involves injecting water under high pressure into a bedrock formation via the well. This is intended to increase the size and extent of existing bedrock fractures.  (Thanks USGS- http://energy.usgs.gov/GeneralInfo/HelpfulResources/EnergyGlossary.aspx#h)

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Not a great definition and the second sentence is misleading.

I do not like the term.  This term was the slang word used in the Batttlestar Galatica series as the “F” word – “Frac”.  This series was about an epic battle between man and machine.  NOW – it possible to view this change in energy production as a battle between big oil and humans- this is not the battle.  The battle is with us – We are the users, consumers, and wasters of this valuable resource that has been developed on this Earth over millions of years.  It is not renewable, but a high energy source that has powered the improvement of our health, safety, and welfare.  As our technology grows – we will develop new and more “renewable energy sources”, but we have to do our part to conserve energy and use it wisely.

My definition

1. Use the word – hydraulic fracturing and is one phase of an overall process.  The phases include drilling, installing protective casing, cementing, hydraulic fracturing, developing, and production.

2. Process that uses a slick water solution – This chemical solution is dangerous to handle and not suitable for consumption or direct contact without proper training and personal protective equipment.  The chemical solution is made up of 99.5 % water  that has been modified through the use of chemicals and other agents that prevent bacterial growth (i.e., biocide), dissolve carbonate scales (acids- HCL and citric acid), friction reduces (change the density of water – can be toxic- mineral oil, polyacrylamide (used in agriculture and soil stabilization potential health issue), corrosion inhibitors (n,n-dimethylformamide,  glycols (toxic)), surfactants (soaps/isopropanal),  gelling agents (gums/cellulose), crosslinkers (borate salts), breakers (ammonia persulfate), salts (KCL)  and propant (sand /ceramics)- Nice Image and Other Pdf.

An aside: The issue is not the chemicals used – but the potential for exposure – the primary exposure potential would be related to chemicals and releases in the environment during transport or surface storage and use.  The main defense would be controlling the movement of the chemicals into and through the community and the use of multiple containment systems for surface storage.  When the target formation is 3000 + feet below grade, the vertical migration of the fluid up to freshwater zones has an extremely low probability of occurrence.  Is it zero – NO, but the other pathways are more likely.

3. The fluid is injected under high pressure to overcome the weight of the material over the target formation.  Since the target formation is a shale, the shale has natural bedding plane fractures (looks like a book from the side), near vertical stress fractures, and curvilinear fractures associated with internal gas stress.  These fractures are not interconnected.  The hydraulic process aids in the parting of existing fractures, removing carbonate scales or coatings along bedding planes/fractures, and parting the formation enough to push sand or other proppant into this location to hold the fractures apart.  This stabilized pathway permits the gas and/or oil to escape at the lowest point of pressure, i.e., the casing and borehole that were constructed during the drilling phase.

This is a work in progress.  We would suggest viewing the following websites:

Private Well Owners Guide – http://www.private-well-owner.org
Links to presentations on water quality issues, movies/videos on well drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and gas production.   Movies and information about problems- Methane gas migration, loose of circulation, chemical changes, spills, and the need for changes in oil and gas law.

Volunteer

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving the Keystone Clean Water Team (CCGG Program), enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We look for people that can forward solid articles, help coordinate local education efforts, and more.  Become part of the Keystone Clean Water Team!.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !   Get educated on Drinking Water Quality in Pennsylvania.

For more information, please go to KCWT’s About Page, Brochure,  or contact us.

Keystone Clean Water Team /Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  The IRS Officially Approved Name change to the Keystone Clean Water Team by the IRS.  Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission).

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).

 

 

 

 

Alternative and Renewable Energy Energy Options for Pennsylvania

The Academy is a S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and math) magnet school in the Hazleton Area School District. The academy offers a variety of learning opportunities in the sciences, including onsite college courses at reduced tuition rates, project-based learning, individual and group work, and many creative ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge.    Mr. Brian Oram of the Keystone Clean Water Team and the owner of B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc. conducted an education outreach effort as part of Earth Day.
During the presentation on April 22, 2014, Mr. Oram focused on:

The Importance of Conservation and Energy Efficiency
Need for the Use of Renewable Energy Where it Works Best
Need for State-wide Use Of Biomass and Groundsource Heating and Cooling
Regional/ National Wind and Solar Projects
Role of Nuclear Energy and
The Role of Fossil Fuels (Coal, Natural Gas, and Oil).

We learned that if we just recycle cellphones we could save the energy equivalent to 18,500 houses per year.

The presentation was fact based and highlighted the need for a State and National Energy Policy over a “Carbon” Plan.

Volunteer

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We look for people that can forward solid articles, help coordinate local education efforts, and more.  Become part of the Keystone Clean Water Team!.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Waiting on Official Name change to the Keystone Clean Water Team by the IRS.  Unsolicited donations are appreciated.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).

 

 

Watershed Energy Conservation – Maintaining the Balance in Pennsylvania

Community Connections to Our Watershed –  Pennsylvania DCNR Program – “Working as a Community” presentation by Mr. Brian Oram, Professional Geologist, owner of B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc. and manager of the Keystone Clean Water Team.

The program brings “Real world experiences bridge the gap between classroom “knowing” and community “doing””. PA Land Choices has been developed to provide participants with a basic understanding of community government and the powerful role of citizens who work toward common goals. The engaging activities in the manual provide opportunities to work collectively in teams, gaining knowledge and skills that will be useful for a lifetime. Workshops involve professional planners and other experts to help participants create, sustain and protect the special character or their neighborhoods. It is a lesson on citizenship and the democratic process practiced at one of the most important levels…right in your home town.  At this presentation, we had teachers and students from  Crestwood, Meyers, GAR, Coughlin, Lake Lehman, Hazleton HS, Hazleton STEM School, Hazleton Career Center, Northwest.

The Keystone Clean Water Team (that is correct) – The name change is official with the IRS– was happy to assist this program with an education and outreach program related to energy use, types of energy sources, need for a national energy policy and community approach, and the facts about Marcellus Shale Development.  We talked about baseline testing, pre-existing problems, how wells can be impacted, how to understand and manage risk, ALL Energy Sources, WORKING as a Community and much more – All Fact Based.   After the education program, the students toured a natural gas drilling site.  The tour guide was Mr. Bill Desrosier from Cabot Oil and Gas.

Volunteer

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We look for people that can forward solid articles, help coordinate local education efforts, and more.  Become part of the Keystone Clean Water Team!.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Waiting on Official Name change to the Keystone Clean Water Team by the IRS.  Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission).

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).

Water Wells in Proximity to Natural Gas Development

Not our work

“Home prices fell in some parts of the Marcellus Shale region of the country after drilling began, and rose in other parts, and the difference was whether the families’ drinking water came from wells or municipal water mains, a study by Resources for the Future (RFF) reported in late June.  (Note RFF-“RFF research on energy focuses on key sectors, including electric power, transportation, and unconventional fuels, and evaluates options to promote new, efficient technologies and the sustainable development of energy resources.”)

For homes within about 1 mile of a shale gas well, sale prices rose 10% from 2004 to 2009 if families were served by piped-in water, most likely due to expectations of increased value from gas drilling leases, RFF concluded.

Prices of homes dependent upon well water fell 16% in that period, which the RFF researchers said may be linked to fears of potential groundwater contamination from shale drilling operations.  (Note- Could be linked to economy, the owner did not own the mineral rights, the house was over leveraged, etc etc)

The survey covered homes in Washington County, Pennsylvania, south of Pittsburgh, where the number of gas wells jumped from five in 2005 to more than 490 wells by 2009.

The swing in home values was a significant 26%. “Even if shale gas operations do not contaminate groundwater in the short run, the stigma from the possibility of future groundwater contamination may negatively affect property values, resulting in important long-term consequences for homeowners,” the researchers said.

RFF released this study and others June 27 from its 18-month examination of risks and regulations surrounding shale gas development.
Note – I did not find the study on their website or a pres release about the study

A theme in several investigations is the lack of credible data on the impacts of drilling operations, members of the RFF research teams said.

“We have no data whatsoever on actual degradation of groundwater. We don’t know,” said RFF’s Lucija Muehlenbachs, commenting on the housing prices study. “This is just perceptions” by county residents, but perceptions matter in this case, she said.

NGWA has published an information brief on wells that are in proximity to natural gas/oil installations.Click here to read the information brief.”   For specific guidance on Pennsylvania – get this booklet – proceeds benefit groundwater education in Pennsylvania.

Othere Resources from RFF
Survey of Regulations in 31 states -The maps are available through a user-friendly, online interface: www.rff.org/shalemaps.

To learn more about RFF’s work on managing the risks of shale gas development, visit www.rff.org/shalegasrisks Risk Matrix
 
Shale gas by state

My personal comments (From the Desk of Mr. Brian Oram)

1. Please note the words – stigma, possibility, and  no data whatsoever on actual degradation of groundwater.
2. I think this article is more a statement about fear, unknown, and a climate or environment that promotes spin over facts.
3. The lease terms and conditions and the ownership of the subsurface rights impacts value.  Therefore a bad lease or incomplete lease will impact value.
4. Baseline testing is needed and the real estate industry is just really getting to understand risk as it relates to the housing market, but there are a lot of risk issues – gasoline stations, airports, dams, floodways, mining, industrial development, agricultural manure management, roadways, landfills, pipelines , etc.
5. Until recently the real estate industry only requested water testing for bacteria and maybe nitrates even though the other problems were known.
6. The article I think is more about no really knowing the risk and a past history of understanding the risk.  Also – this County has a long history of abandon oil and gas wells.
7. Oil and Gas Database PA How to Access
8. Expect More from the NGWA when they recommend articles.
9. Movies that promote SPIN on either side over FACTS – create unknown – creates fear and lack of trust.
10. Lets not forget the economy
11. We have always recommended getting a complete baseline test on the water quality of your well water, inspection of your home, and my business does conduct online database searchs of known harzardous as part of real estate transactions.
12. Make decisions based on facts not fear.  I know we are humans so this is difficult.
13. I finally found the publication  (pdf – March 2013)

Volunteer
We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organiazation).

Location Change for May 1 Hearing Washington County Compressor Station

The new location – VFW Barto Post 6553 at 65 Run St. in Slovan, Washington County.

Immediately following the open house which starts at 6:30 pm- the hearing will start.  The anticipated start time is at 7:30 p.m., members of the public may present up to five minutes of formal testimony for the public record. The testimony will be recorded by a court reporter and transcribed into a written document, and DEP will create a written response to all relevant testimony.

Those who wish to present oral testimony should contact DEP Community Relations Coordinator John Poister at 412-442-4203 or register that evening prior to the hearing. Only those who register can give testimony at the public hearing.

For anyone unable to attend the public hearing, written comment should be submitted by the close of business on May 11 to Alan Binder, PA DEP Bureau of Air Quality, Southwest Regional Office, 400 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

Copy of the Annoucement

Website Provided for Educational Purpose.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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