Testing Downstream Of Marcellus Treatment Plants Shows Water Safe

April 2011 Vol. 238 No. 4

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said results of in-stream water quality monitoring for radioactive material in seven rivers showed levels at or below the normal naturally occurring background levels of radioactivity.

The tests were conducted in November and December 2010 at stations downstream of wastewater treatment plants that accept flowback and production water from Marcellus Shale drilling.

“We deal in facts based on sound science,” said DEP acting Secretary Michael Krancer. “Here are the facts: all samples were at or below background levels of radioactivity; and all samples showed levels below the federal drinking water standard for Radium 226 and 228.”

Krancer said that these sampling stations were installed last fall specifically to monitor stream quality for potential impacts of Marcellus development. He said the water tested is the raw water in the river before it enters public water suppliers’ intakes where the water receives further treatment.

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