South Atlantic Water Science Center - North Carolina Office
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Water Resources of North Carolina
Of Current Interest
New Report: Baseline Well Inventory and Groundwater-Quality Data from a Potential Shale Gas Resource Area in Parts of Lee and Chatham Counties, North Carolina, October 2011–August 2012
The USGS recently released a report detailing baseline groundwater information, prior to oil and gas exploration in North Carolina. The study is one of the first in the country to provide baseline information on groundwater quality ahead of oil and gas industry production activities within a particular state.
Baseline Well Inventory and Groundwater-Quality Data from a Potential Shale Gas Resource Area in Parts of Lee and Chatham Counties, North Carolina, October 2011–August 2012
The researchers inventoried 305 wells and sampled 56 wells and one spring. Of the 57 samples, 22 contained naturally occurring methane. Concentration levels were low, ranging from 0.0005 to 0.48 milligrams per liter. The range of methane found does not pose any known risk.
The results also showed that 2 to 9 percent of the wells tested for constituents, such as nitrate, boron, chloride, sulfate or total dissolved solids, contained levels above drinking water standards. Well owners were notified of the results. While the number of wells tested for each constituent was fairly small, the results highlight the importance of private-well owners having their water tested.
USGS CoreCast: Groundwater Awareness Week is March 6-12
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