Naturally Occurring Methane Found in Some Sullivan County Water

June 20, 2013

EW CUMBERLAND, PA - Two of 20 randomly selected and tested household wells used for drinking water in Sullivan County, Pa., produced groundwater with elevated concentrations of naturally occurring dissolved methane, the most common component of natural gas, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study conducted in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Topographic and Geological Survey.

The concentrations of dissolved methane in the two wells were high enough - above one milligram per liter - to allow for an isotopic analysis of the methane to confirm it was from a natural gas source. One of the wells tested at a level above 28 milligrams per liter, a level that can lead to possible explosive conditions.

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