Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Water Quality and Marcellus Shale Drilling


The water quality issues resulting from natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio are just starting to emerge. Problems include water that is 5X saltier than seawater and laden with dissolved solids such as sulfates and chlorides, which conventional sewage and drinking water treatment plants aren’t equipped to remove.

Living with Private Well Water

If you are drawing water from a Private Well there many potential contaminates that affect your water quality besides bacteria. The bacterial issues like E coli and Coliform are the most important to address to ensure safe drinking water however there are also many secondary contaminates that are not necessarily harmful but are an inconvenience. These contaminates can cause stains and smells making life miserable. Following is a list of these contaminates and the signs of their presence:

• Iron – there are two different types of iron – Farris & Farric. Farris iron is clear water iron and Farric is red water iron. The presence of Farris iron cannot be seen by looking at the water however it leaves reddish/brown stains. With Farric iron the water will appear red in color and leave stains. These secondary contaminates are not harmful to ingest. Following are a few things you experience when iron is present:
- Having Iron in your water can cause reddish/brown stains in your tubs and toilets as well as affect your white laundry. Irrigating with water containing iron can cause staining to your sidewalks, walls, and fixtures.
• Sulfur – a clear indication of sulfur presence is a “rotten-egg” smell to the water. When dealing with Sulfur it is important to eliminate the possibility of Sulfur Bacteria. General Sulfur can be removed easily with Aeration or Filox media oxidation. Sulfur Bacteria is very resistant and requires continuous Chlorination. Following are a few signs of each:
- General Sulfur – the smell is the same on both the hot and cold water sides. The smell is slight and comes and goes from time to time.
- Sulfur Bacteria – The smell is more prominent on the hot water side. The smell is very strong all of the time. There is a black slimy film anywhere water sits for a long period of time for example the back of your toilet bowl. Sulfur bacteria can cause stomach problems for some people if ingested on a regular basis.

• pH – A neutral pH level is between 6.8 – 7.4
- LOW pH is considered acid water. Acid water can cause damage to pipes and appliances. If you have copper pipes you will see bluish/green stains in your tubes and toilets. Drinking acid water is not recommended on a continual basis.
- HIGH pH is considered alkaline water and there are no know harmful effects of alkaline water to date.
• Hard Water – Hard water is an abundance of minerals including calcium, magnesium and can contain lime. The presence of hard water presents itself in the form of a off white hard scale build up on tubs, toilets, and other water fixtures throughout your home. This scale build up can shorten the life of your water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers, faucets, pipes, and any other water carrying devise in your home.
• Tannins – These are astrigent, bitter plant polyphenol. The astringency from the tannins will cause a dry and puckery feeling in the mouth following the consumption. When Tannins are present in your water you will see a tea like color to the water and they leave yellowish stains in your tubs, toilets, and water fixtures.
The good news is you don’t have to live with these secondary contaminates because we have treatment options available for all of them. We have systems that are designed to treat several issues all in one application. Others may require more specific treatment however we can build a specialty application just for you. It is highly recommended that you have the water tested to determine what is present and know the level of each secondary contaminate. Having these results will ensure that you choose the correct treatment solution. Getting it right the first time saves money and frustration.

Here at PuriTeam we have knowledgeable Water Specialists available to assist you in choosing the best possible application for your specific needs. Fax or e-mail your test results for a personalized recommendation. We look forward to solving your water issues today!

For full story, click here: Water Quality in Marcellus Shale.