Samples from six of the 11 homes showed traces of sodium, methane, chromium or bacteria in concentrations within acceptable limits, according to an agency release. Those sampling results also identified the presence of arsenic at two homes.
The agency has collected samples at 61 ones homes to date, with the results from the other 40 homes pending, according to Roy Seneca, EPA Region 3 press officer. The agency also plans to retest two of the 11 homes were low levels of arsenic were detected “to better characterize the water quality of these wells,” Seneca said.
The EPA investigation follows a three-year investigation by the Pennsylvania DEP that began when Norma Fiorentino’s water well exploded on January 1, 2009. Under governor Ed Rendell’s administration, DEP officials attributed contamination at the Fiorentino residence and more than a dozen other wells in the area to methane migration from nearby shale gas wells being drilled by Cabot Oil & Gas – an accusation that Cabot has denied.
The EPA is studying the Dimock water as part of a national review on the safety of hydraulic fracturing, with a more comprehensive analysis due by the end of the year.