Emerald Lake resident’s well brought up more than water

Emerald Lake resident’s well brought up more than water by Howard Frank, July 22, 2012, Pocono Record
When Joanne Barron, of Tobyhanna Township, pulled her non-working, well pump out of the ground, it was dripping with oil. After a visit from the Department of Environmental Protection, she was told her water was contaminated with petroleum. That news has her and her Emerald Lake neighbors in a panic. Barron’s discovery on June 30 was completely accidental. She said her tap water looked and smelled clean. But it’s undrinkable, and the fixed-income widow wants help. The DEP took samples from her and neighboring wells July 2. When its representatives went to the home, they saw a petroleum-based substance and began an investigation. “We are trying to determine now where the substance came from and if or how far it may have spread,” DEP spokesman Colleen Connolly said. “We expect lab results back in a few weeks.” … Barron installed a new well pump, but the oil kept clogging it up. Now she has to have a plumber pull and hose down the pump every few weeks to keep it working. Health concerns plague Barron and her neighbors. She said her husband died of leukemia in October 2011 and she suspects it may have been from the contaminated water. One neighbor’s child was born recently with a heart defect, she said. At least eight of Barron’s neighbors want their wells tested. Barron’s family has been cooking and drinking with bottled water. She doesn’t let her kids brush their teeth with the tap water, but they’re still forced to shower in the petroleum-laced water while they wait for the DEP’s official results. Barron just wants her water problem taken care of. “The DEP didn’t do the right thing,” she said. “They should give us water if they are telling me it’s unsafe to drink it. I didn’t cause this thing. Somebody should give me water.”

This entry was posted in Global Frac News. Bookmark the permalink.