Fact Sheet:  Gas Drilling And Your Private Water Supply

If you have a water emergency, these are the types of problems you may encounter:

– rapid increases in the TDS or conductivity of the water supply based on readings from a meter
– occurrence of increased severity of sediment in local surface water [streams, ponds]
– changes in appearance of drinking water from a well or spring such as sediment, foaming,  bubbling or spurting faucets
– changes in drinking water taste including salty or metallic taste
– changes in water odor such as a rotten egg odor, fuel or oily smell
– reduction of loss of water quantity

The first phone call to make is to DEP

Susquehanna & Wyoming Counties:  570-826-2511     24/7/365
Bradford, Sullivan & Tioga Counties:  570-327-3636     24/7/365
Or, you may call the statewide emergency number:  1-800-541-2050

Advise the DEP contact you want to report a possible gas drilling water impact.  Once you are connected with the appropriate individual, be prepared to explain to them your water issue.  The more information you can provide the better.  DEP is required to respond to your complaint within ten days.

The second phone call to make is to the well operator

You may ask DEP to contact the operator on your behalf.  Chances are, DEP may know the exact person to contact directly.   If you don’t know the Operator’s number, ask DEP to make that call for you, or refer to the well operator’s website or your local phone book.   It is not unusual that both DEP and the Operator will want to draw samples from your private water supply.

Remember, in cases of water impacts, DEP is your advocate.  You do not need to hire an attorney.  DEP is required to uphold the regulations that are in place to ensure your water quality and quantity.  They do need to do a thorough investigation, so it will take some time.  Be patient and work with DEP, which is always in your best interest.  Once the investigation is finally completed, should you not be satisfied, you still may pursue other avenues.  If you have questions regarding the specific regulations involved with private water supplies and gas drilling impacts, feel free to email info@cogentpa.org and we can readily supply you with the excerpt from the PA Code.