Methane in water and all is not well

A study has found high levels of leaked methane in well water collected near shale-gas drilling and hydrofracking sites. The scientists collected and analyzed water samples from 68 private groundwater wells across five counties in northeastern Pennsylvania and New York.

The study found no evidence of contamination from chemical-laden fracking fluids, which are injected into gas wells to help break up shale deposits, or from “produced water,” wastewater that is extracted back out of the wells after the shale has been fractured.

Methane is flammable and poses a risk of explosion. In very high concentrations, it can cause asphyxiation. Little research has been conducted on the health effects of drinking methane-contaminated water.

Read more at Duke University