Private water well owners are responsible for their own water quality. Even in the absence of shale?gas drilling, well owners are strongly encouraged to evaluate their water on a regular basis in order to ensure that basic water quality standards are being met. Information on general testing that applies to all private water supplies can be found at http://waterquality.cce.cornell.edu/testing.htm. This bulletin discusses additional testing in order to more specifically document potential impacts of Marcellus Shale gas development on drinking water supplies. It is intended for landowners and private water well users who seek information on the need, frequency, and thoroughness of testing in the context of shale?gas activity.
The issue of testing private water wells raises these key questions:
- ? Who should test their water?
- ? When should testing occur?
- ? What should be tested for?