AGES Energy recommends the development of a routine groundwater and surface water sampling protocol for landowners where natural gas drilling is on-going, or where there is a potential for drilling to occur. This sampling is best completed by a qualified, professional third party instead of the landowner or drilling/gas companies themselves. Without any pre-drilling characterization of drinking water, it is difficult to prove if drilling operations have or have not impacted the local groundwater quality. Chemicals that are potential contaminants from the drilling process also occur naturally at varying levels; therefore, their detection in the groundwater following drilling is not proof in and of itself of impact to the water source. Legally defensible baseline sampling of groundwater wells provides all parties analytical results which can be compared to a series of post-drilling samples to determine trends and suspect impacts.
If time allows, AGES Energy recommends that a series of pre- and post-drilling groundwater and nearby surface water samples be collected to document seasonal fluctuations of chemical concentrations over time. Collection of one groundwater sample does not establish the needed range of chemical concentrations that are naturally occurring in the area. AGES Energy will complete groundwater and surface water sampling in accordance with all appropriate collection, preservation, handling, and defensible chain-of-custody procedures provided by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Samples will be analyzed by a SRA certified laboratory using USEPA SW-846 methods or other drinking water methods. AGES Energy recommends monitoring a suite of compounds that includes organic, inorganic, metals, microbiological and radiological parameters.
Related Residential Service: Homeowner Analytical Results Evaluation Package