Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Radionuclides Close Hudson Oaks Municipal Water Well (Paluxy)

Below is a post from PARCHED@yahoogroups.com.
Municipal water well is taken out of service.

Of course it is stated the "source of contamination is unknown". How many times does this have to happen before it isn't a coincidence anymore? Numerous situations have been reported all over the United States. This particular well had no radionuclides and NORM for 20 years before gas drilling and now high enough readings to close the water well down! 3 gas wells are 1/4 mile away.

How many of you still think gas drilling is okay to have near our water sources, agriculture, neighborhoods, parks and our children's schools? What is it about our society that we just don't get it until it becomes personal and it's too late?

Many put their trust in the gas companies who will say anything because they make billions while they pay out a few dollars, depending on your postage stamp size lot, to royalty owners.
The gas companies get tax incentives and exemptions from rules and regulations and what does the average resident get?

Well like the residents of Hudson Oaks and numerous other towns that have had to deal with gas drilling for the last 5 or 6 years, they get to worry about how long the water was contaminated before it was tested. They get to ask themselves what if the air they breath and soil they plant in is contaminated too. What will the effects be down the road?

Comforting isn't it?

Private water well owners in the Hudson Oaks area might want to have their water wells tested for radionuclides if they are in the Paluxy formation.

Diamond Oaks municipal water well in Hudson Oaks (Parker County) was taken out of service after tests indicated the presence of radionuclides. Radium 226, radium 228 and Alpha radiation at entry point 007 tested in excess of the Maximum Contaminant Levels.

According to Kristi Krieg, Drinking Water Specialist at the TCEQ, the well was closed after an enforcement letter was sent to the city on May 22, 2009. Krieg said that the affected Hudson Oaks water well is 230 feet deep in the Paluxy formation. Hudson Oaks Director of Operations Patrick Lawler estimated that the well, located near the New River Fellowship Church off Interstate 20, had been in service since the 1980s. The source of the contamination is unknown.

Radionuclides can be naturally occurring (NORM) but Skip Ferris of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said that if the contamination was from naturally occurring radiation, it would have always been there and "wouldn't just show up after 20 years".

According to Texas Railroad Commission maps, the water well is approximately 1/4 mile from two 'dry holes' and three Devon Energy natural gas wells completed in November of 2007, August and September of 2008. According to the EPA, oil and gas drilling may sometimes produce radioactive waste in the form of produced water, drilling mud, sludge, slimes, or evaporation ponds and pits. Radionuclides in these wastes are primarily radium-226, radium-228, and radon gas. Alpha particles, bone seeking carcinogens, can pose a serious health threat if ingested or inhaled according to the EPA.

It is unusual for a water well to be closed due to radionuclides. According to Krieg, the City of East Chico is the only other municipal water well to close for radionuclides in the four county Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District area. The East Chico water well in Wise County closed earlier this year.

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