Pennsylvania DEP issues statement on Franklin Forks methane migration determination

By WBNG News

Pennsylvania DEP issues statement on Franklin Forks methane migration determination

April 29, 2013 Updated Apr 29, 2013 at 3:02 PM EDT

SCRANTON, Pa. (WBNG Binghamton) -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Oil and Gas Management program has determined that high levels of methane found in three private water wells in Franklin Township, Susquehanna County can be attributed to naturally-occurring methane in that geographical area. 

According to a news release issued Monday:

The department conducted an extensive 16-month investigation, beginning in December of 2011 that included isotopic testing, and analysis of historical water data to determine the origin of the methane. 

The testing included water samples taken from the private water wells to compare to samples taken from natural gas wells located nearby the respective properties and to compare to water samples taken from the spring and private water well at Salt Springs State Park, which historically contains naturally-occurring methane. 

The spring is approximately 1 mile from the affected homes.  The testing determined that the water samples taken from the private water wells contained gas of similar isotopic makeup to the gas in the water samples taken from Salt Springs State Park.  DEP’s testing also determined that the water samples taken from the private water wells was not of the same origin as the natural gas in the nearby gas wells. 

Additionally, DEP staff evaluated information from the Lazybrook Mobile Home Park public water supply files relating to the park’s abandonment of a water source in 1998 due to elevated levels of methane, chlorides, and total dissolved solids.  The park is located approximately 2.3 miles from Franklin Forks. The water well exhibited similar water chemistry to that of the three residential water supplies investigated.

The owners of the private water wells affected by this investigation have been notified of the DEP’s determination.