Some homeowners in Susquehanna County who believe methane gas has contaminated their water wells got a little help Wednesday afternoon.
As the state department of environmental protection tries to figure out where the methane may be coming from, a natural gas company in the area voluntarily took action to help.
Contractors for natural gas company, WPX Energy, are busy installing a vent on Tammy Hadlick’s water well along Route 29 near Montrose. The company is voluntarily helping three families who believe methane gas has contaminated their water.
“We can’t drink it, we don’t bathe in it. We have to buy it, which means we have to haul it. Gas isn’t cheap, which is more expenses to us,” Hadlick said.
“For us, it’s a situation of the DEP reached out to us, the community has reached out to us, and we said sure, we’ll help out because you are our neighbor and we have a long history of being involved in our communities where we’re operating,” said Susan Oliver of WPX Energy.
Home video shows water shooting from the Manning family`s water well just down the road from the Hadlicks.
The family said it’s been happening for months every time the water is turned on, or the toilet is flushed.
The Mannings blame pressure from a buildup of methane gas.
The well there will be vented too.
“It wasn’t long after they started fracking that one that we had the problems. I’m not a scientist or anything, but we didn’t have problems before, neither did our neighbors,” said Tammy Manning.
While there is a WPX Energy natural gas well about 4,000 feet away from the homes it is still unknown where the possible methane in the water may be coming from. The state department of environmental protection said one possible source could be nearby Salt Springs State Park, where methane is naturally occurring.
“I just don’t buy that. That hole in the ground has been up there for 110 years and nobody’s had any problems. I just don’t buy it. It’s just too much of a coincidence to me,” Manning added.
DEP and WPX Energy are doing extensive testing.
Along with the vent systems the company will test the water and air quality at all the homes and has also offered to provide water buffaloes.
“We’re going to be in Susquehanna County for the long term. Our company is committed to the development of natural gas resources here and we want to do it responsibly and we want to do it safely,” Oliver added.
DEP and WPX Energy plan to meet this week to discuss the situation.
Officials said test results could take weeks.