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More benzene in drinking water; two more cases of drinking water contamination linked to hydraulic fracturing in the Barnett shale

Amy Mall

Posted October 4, 2010

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Is anyone else tired of my regular blog posts entitled: "another case of drinking water contamination linked to hydraulic fracturing......."?

I started blogging about these incidents to counter the regular industry claims that there has never been "a single incidence of drinking water contamination..." Industry says that "Every step of the process—from the initial boring of the well to its sealing after it has run dry" is safe.

I think it's pretty clear by now that is not the case. Here are the latest disturbing incidents:

Larry Bisidas is an expert in drilling wells and in groundwater. He is the owner of Bisidas Water Well Drilling in Wise County, and has been drilling water wells for 40 years. Two water wells on his property have become contaminated. As Mr. Bisidas said: "That's pretty bad when the well man is buying bottled water." When his state regulator stated that there has been no groundwater contamination in Texas related to hydraulic fracturing, Mr. Bisidas replied: ""All they've gotta do is come out to my place, and I'll prove it to them."

Also in Wise County, Catherine and Brett Bledsoe report that their drinking water became contaminated soon after hydraulic fracturing began on two natural gas wells bordering their property. The water stung their eyes during showers, and their animals refused to drink the water. Without any assistance from regulators, the Bledsoes paid for their own water testing. The testing found benzene, a known carcinogen, at double the safe levels.

What will it take for state regulators to fully investigate these cases and help citizens with carcinogens in their drinking water? It is more clear than ever that federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Drinking Water Act is essential. If you haven't done so already, please write your member of Congress and let them know you want them to support legislation to do just that. You can take action to close the Halliburton Loophole on NRDC's website.

In the meantime, I'll keep blogging about these cases

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Sharon WilsonOct 7 2010 02:36 AM

WFAA new report about the Montague County flammable water and Larry Bisidas.

Here's an idea: What if all these cases of contaminated water were all in one place with links to the news report for each one? That would be a handy resource. Got intern?

Amy MallOct 7 2010 10:48 AM

Hi Sharon: thanks for commenting and posting the news report. All the incidents of which I am aware are posted on our blog here:

I welcome additional information to include on this list.

Tim RuggieroOct 10 2010 10:18 PM

Every time one of us says something about water being contaminated, there's always someone from Industry to spout off the line..."Not one documented case..." In spite fo the fact I have the doucmentation, and so do a number of others, they stick to their spin.

I propose a solution-Since they must have done some research into this, then they must know who has contaminated water and who doesn't. I propose that Industry put their money where their mouth is, and show me-show all of us-how many cases of contaminated drinking water there are that are NOT on or near a gas field. Show me those numbers and I'll shut up about it.

Shaomin WuOct 12 2010 10:35 AM

Hi Amy,
It might be interesting to see the role of human beings in those drinking water incidents.

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