Penn State to Hold Gas, Water Workshop in Galeton

Select residents with private wells to receive free post-drilling water testing


The Penn State School of Forest Resources and Cooperative Extension will hold a seminar entitled “Gas Well Drilling and Your Private Water Supply Workshop” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 19, at St Bibiana’s Church Social Hall or the Galeton Senior Center in Galeton, PA.

Penn State Water Resources Extension Educator, Jim Clark, will discuss pre-drill water testing by gas companies and voluntary testing by landowners, how to test water quality, reading water test reports, and the use of accredited water labs.

The latter part of the program will be dedicated to discussing research being conducted. Penn State and the Cooperative Extension have received funding from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Center to study the potential impacts of Marcellus gas drilling on rural drinking water wells.

Statewide, about 200 private water wells near completed Marcellus gas well sites will be selected for free post-drilling water testing of several water quality parameters.

Interested water well owners who meet the research parameters will receive water testing materials and instructions at the workshop.

At the workshop, each water well owner will be asked to complete a short survey about their experiences with gas drilling.

Water samples and completed surveys must be returned to the workshop site the following morning between 7 and 9 a.m. so they can be returned to the Penn State water testing laboratory.

The samples will not be legal chain-of-custody samples required to legally document impacts of gas drilling. However, the results will be used for research purposes and to educate the landowner.

To be eligible for the study and the free water quality testing, participants must meet all of the following criteria.

They must:

Own a private water well. No springs or cisterns can be included in the study.

Have an existing Marcellus gas well – drilled and hydrofractured within about 5,000 feet (or one mile) of the water well. The well must be a Marcellus well, not a shallow gas well.

Provide copies of a water test from a state-accredited water lab showing, at a minimum, pre-drilling concentrations of total dissolved solids, chloride and barium in the water well.

Be willing to take and submit a sample from the water well on the morning after the workshop and return it to the workshop site between 7 and 9 a.m.

Due to funding constraints, all eligible applicants cannot be promised inclusion in the study. Selection will be based on eligibility, geographic location and other factors. Participants interested in attending the workshop need to pre-register with Jim Clark at 814-887-5613 or

Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce.

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One Comment

  1. Karen Foertsch says:

    When will you post the results of the water test? Water tests should be done before drilling not post-drilling. I have a great idea that would be affordable and be conclusive in pre-water testing of wells in the future. Have someone contact me. Thanks, Karen

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