Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Baseline Water Testing for Northeastern PA - a different Tiered Approach - Bromide, Methane, ethane, radionuclieds, arsenic

This is a list of parameter for wells outside the 1000 foot radius around a well and not along a horizontal leg.  I do not agree with the PSU recommendations from 2008  listing of parameters and I am providing this as an alternative.

Testing Package # 1
This package is recommended as a screening for post gas development or screening for wells that are not a long a major roadway or areas that have not been leased.
Total Coliform with e. coli confirmation, chloride, sodium, bromide, barium,pH, total dissolved solids, MBAS, iron, manganese, and methane/ethane.

Testing Package # 2
This is the minimum package I recommend for the area- this is based on PADEP recommendations, plus I added Arsenic and nitrate.  Note- If nitrate is at or greater than 1 mg NO3-N/L - I would recommend adding Nitrite.
Package # 1- plus T. Hardness, Magnesium, Strontium, Conductivity, Calcium, Zinc, Alkalinity, Arsenic, Nitrate, Total Suspended Solids, Sulfate, Oil & Grease, 21-VOCs/MTBE, Selenium

Testing Package # 3
More Comprehensive- Assuming the wells are outside 1000 feet of a well site and not along a horizontal leg
Package # 2 - plus Potassium, Sulfide, Ammonia, Acidity, Nickel, Gross, Alpha/Beta, Lead, and Uranium.

Possible Addons- Based on available frac water data- this would be more appropriate for wells within 1000 feet or less.
Radium 226 and Radium 228
Turbidity- cheap screening test
Phenol and phenolic compounds- located near well or along major road
Chemical Oxygen Demand - still considering - I do do not recommend
Total Organic Carbon- still considering- I just do not understand why?
2- Butanone (methyl ethyl ketone)
Phthalates- this may be a problem already for private wells with PVC casing or substand piping.
Ethylene Glycol- recommend
1,2- Propanediol - I think this is being used by some as an alternative to ethylene glycol
Acetone - may be source because of a break down in 1,2- Propanediol
Lithium- reviewing
Aluminum- Suggest
Thallium reviewing

Website provided for information only and the site is always under development and subject to change.

Other Post on the subject

Co-Authored - New Publication on Water Quality for Private Well Owners- Website -


  1. This listing of parameters is not for a gas company. For a gas company, it is my opinion your baseline should include a full set of regulated and unregulated VOCs, pesticides, herbicides, SOCs, and radionuclieds.

  2. For a list of certified laboratories by county in PA go to
    Certified Testing Labs in PA

  3. Based on additional testing in NEPA- I may recommend nitrite and ammonia testing to package 2.

  4. Looking for info on Flowback water quality
    go to

  5. I have officially added the glycols and aluminum. Mostly because of the use of geothermal contacts or wells for heating and cooling in PA.

  6. Hello,
    I will be experiencing more drilling near me with a lateral that will run underneath my small farm. I have people surrounding me with contaminated wells, whereas methane, barium, and arsenic are the prime contaminants that I am concerned with. I have had an extensive water test done by a qualified lab within the last year. My idea is to have a more extensive baseline with just the above contaminants as to keep on getting extensive water tests is cost prohibitive for me on a fixed income. Could you advice me on how I could accomplish this and if it is necessary in your humble opinion. Thank you.

  7. I am always happy to help - you can contact me at - please send me a copy of your data to review.



  8. More updates

    1. Suggest adding aluminum
    2. Suggest adding glycols
    3. Phenols

  9. A lot of universities, colleges and technical institutes in Pennsylvania offer HVAC training depending on needs of the students. HVAC Schools in Pennsylvania

  10. It exactly refers to the municipal wastewater that contains a broad spectrum of contaminants resulting from the mixing of wastewater from homes, businesses, industrial areas and often storm drains, especially in older sewer systems. Municipal wastewater is usually treated in a combined sewer, sanitary sewer, effluent sewer or septic tank.

  11. We have a new booklet for Private Well Owners in Pennsylvania
    Private Well Owner Guide - 2nd edition

  12. For the record, I do recommend the following
    1. Testing for aluminum, glycols, and some synthetic organics.
    2. Some form of water testing every 6 months.
    3. Home water screening using a pH, conductivity, and ORP sensor.

  13. hey nice information for us,thanks for sharing this information.To measure acidity or alkalinity i.e. called pH value of liquid pH meter is used. is the India’s 1st industrial and business supplies store who provides you wide range of ph meters with appropriate discount price.

    Industrial PH Sensor||PH Meter Manufacturers

  14. We are begin to recommend antimony as part of baseline monitoring in NEPA and areas with arsenic and/or iron issues.