Residents: Running out of options, water

By Jillian Marshall

April 30, 2013 Updated Apr 30, 2013 at 9:45 AM EST

Franklin Township, Pa. (WBNG Binghamton) The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says methane found in private water wells is not related to nearby gas drilling. But residents who have been affected disagree.

The Mannings, of State Route 29, haven't been able to use their well water for more than a year, instead relying on a water buffalo as their sole supply.

There is a natural gas well just up the hill from their house in Franklin Forks.

In December 2011, the Mannings said the amount of methane in their water began to skyrocket.

"When showering we had to keep the bathroom door open, the window open and the fan going to suck the methane out of the bathroom," Tammy Manning said.

The Mannings called the gas company and requested the DEP conduct testing. The last tests were in March of 2012.

On Saturday, the DEP says a 16-month investigation shows nearby gas well drilling did not invade the Manning's water supply. They say the water wells contained gas similar to the naturally occurring gas found in Salt Springs State Park, which is located only about one mile away from the Manning's house.

"Why is Salt Springs all of a sudden migrating all at once right after drilling starts?" Matthew Manning said.

"Prove your findings. There's a lot of people out there who would like to take a look at how you came up with your conclusions. If you have concrete proof, lay it on the line," he added.

"We couldn't sell the house with a water buffalo and no water supply, so we're running out of options right now," Tammy Manning said.

The gas company that drilled in the area is paying for the Manning's water buffalo. But the family is concerned that because the recent test results show no connection between their water and nearby drilling.

That means they're not sure how long those water donations will last.