EPA releases new Pavillion data

Nov 10, 2011

In 2008 the Environmental Protection Agency launched an investigation in the Pavillion area after residents complained of health problems and changes in the odor, taste and color of their well water. Last night, the EPA released new data from deep monitoring wells in the area. 

The EPA's initial sampling of domestic water wells eventually led the agency to monitor a number of wells used by residents for drinking water, and drill deep water monitoring wells last summer.
Sampling results results released last night found a number of diesel and gasoline range organics on a fairly wide-spread basis, as well as methane with a similar chemical signature to gas in the areas production reservoir.
Ayn Schmit with the EPA says several petroleum related compounds were found in some sampled wells, as well as naturally occurring sulfates and sodium.  However, Schmit says the two monitoring wells saw high PH levels above what's seen in the areas aquifer, and in domestic wells, as well as benzene at 50 times the safe drinking water acts maximum contaminant level.

"We did find methane in both of the deep monitoring wells, um, the water was bubbling, um, methane was present at near saturation levels, and that methane, again, when you looked at its isotopic signature it looked very similar to the production gas."

The EPA says the next step will be to review the new data and work to release a report that summarizes the information and what it means early next year.
In the meantime, residents have been informed to not drink water from their wells, and EnCana continues to pay for bottled water to be delivered to the area.