DEP, Chesapeake Investigating Methane in Water Wells

State environmental officials along with Chesapeake Energy are trying to find out what is causing methane in some drinking water wells in Bradford County.

The discovery was made over the weekend and some people worried that their water may not be safe to drink.

A homeowner noticed his drinking water well was bubbling up and so he called Chesapeake, which has numerous natural gas wells in the area.

Now, Chesapeake Energy and the DEP are trying to find out what is causing the methane gas to turn up where it should not be.

A vent covers Lee Franklin’s water well and his home near Canton is now the focus of an investigation involving the state Department of Environmental Protection and Chesapeake Energy.

Officials said methane turned up in Franklin’s well. The gas was also discovered bubbling up in a wetland area behind his home, said officials. Even Franklin’s dad, who lives just up the road, has been affected.

“It takes a month to get the tests back, we’re not taking any chances. They want to make sure we’re okay,” said Ted Franklin.

Ted Franklin said Chesapeake has provided drinking water for him and his son and crews are installing a filter so his water is safe for showers and washing dishes.

DEP officials said the investigation centers around this Chesapeake well pad and that several nearby homes and their wells have been tested for methane. The wells at those homes tested clear but residents including Christine Pepper are nervous.

“Unsettling, definitely unsettling, you like to know everything you do and is surrounded by is where it should be,” said Pepper.

Pepper and her two sons showed us where specialists had looked for any signs of methane on their dairy farm. Pepper is waiting to find out if they did and if her water is okay.

The same goes for Shirley Brenchley just two doors down from the Chesapeake gas well in question.

“I’m trying to go with the flow. I wish they’d make us aware of what’s happening so we know what to do and what to plan for. Should I drink that water?” Brenchley questioned.

Both the DEP and Chesapeake said it is too early to tell where the methane is coming from and are continuing to look into it.

The Chesapeake well is located down the road from another Chesapeake natural gas well that blew out last year and took crews days to get under control.

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