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• 11
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
By BARBARA GREEN
Analysis continues in
a groundwater study of
the Barnett Shale re-
gion being conducted by
a research team from
the University of Texas-
Arlington.
In December 2013, Dr.
Zac Hildenbrand and his
team visited Montague
County and obtained 66
samples from residents.
Testing is being done
free of charge. He made
additional collection trips
in early 2014.
Through Oct. 1, 2014,
they had collected 550
groundwater samples
from the shale area.
Samples were collected
throughout the shale
particularly from Mon-
tague, Johnson, Wise,
Tarrant, Denton, Cooke
and Parker Counties.
“I would like to relay
to the people of Montague
County their response
and contributions to our
research have been ab-
solutely phenomenal.
The people of Montague
County feel very deeply
about groundwater qual-
ity and the success of this
current research proj-
ects is largely attributed
to their kindness and
consideration,” stated
Hildenbrand as he pro-
vided an update on the
testing.
Hildenbrand explained
in this study theywill per-
form a complete analysis
of 35 different compounds
used in the hydraulic
fracturing process, as
well as taking measure-
ments for metals and
minerals.
Testing will include
basis water quality anal-
ysis; gas chromatograph,
mass spectrometry and
head space-gas chro-
matograph-flame ioniza-
tion detection analysis of
chemical compounds com-
monly used in hydraulic
fracturing and inductive-
ly coupled plasma-mass
spectrometry analysis of
naturally occurring met-
al and mineral ions; and
total organic carbon and
total nitrogen analysis.
This is his second study
of the shale. The team
partnered with the Uni-
versity of Texas, which
will perform analysis for
dissolved methane.
While preparing to
collect samples in Mon-
tague County, Hilden-
brand said during the
2011 study of the shale,
the team found instances
of elevated heavy met-
als (arsenic, strontium,
selenium and barium)
all of which appeared to
increase in concentration
as the sampling sites got
closer to drilling sites.
“So far in our 2013-14
analysis of the Barnett
Shale, we have not seen
any definitive patterns;
however, this research
investigation is still in its
infancy,” said the team
scientist.
Hildenbrand states
concerns over environ-
mental stewardship, in
conjunction with the
prospect of using natural
gas as a catalyst towards
achieving energy inde-
pendence, have provided
the impetus for investiga-
tions into the relationship
between unconventional
drilling and groundwater
quality.
Three aims of the study
include: Future explana-
tion of the mechanism
through which uncon-
ventional drilling can
potentially contribute to
groundwater contamina-
tion; assess the effects of
other aspects of the drill-
ing process such as the
handling of fluid wastes
and the use of under-
ground injection wells;
and develop technologies
for environmental reme-
diation of contamination
events.
Hildenbrand can be
When it comes to water
wells, THEUpper Trinity
Groundwater Conserva-
tion District has informa-
tion for Montague County
residents. It regulates
the drilling of new water
wells, as well as existing
water wells in the area.
Established by voters
inMontague, Wise, Park-
er, and Hood Counties
in November 2007, THE
Upper TrinityGroundwa-
ter Conservation District
(UTGCD) has a multi-
faceted mission which
includes ensuring avail-
ability and accessibility
of groundwater for future
generations.
Success for this facet
of the missionmeans new
water wells must comply
with the spacing require-
ments established by the
eight-member UTGCD
Board of Directors.
A new well application
must be submitted to the
district for any newwater
well to be drilled. Most
water well drillers in the
four-county district are
familiar with the applica-
tion and can assist with
its completion.
The new well applica-
tion asks for information
such as well owner name
and contact information,
well site location, and
questions that pertain
to the district’s spacing
requirements.
If these spacing re-
quirements cannot be
met, the district may
grant an exception to
these rules so that thewa-
ter well can be drilled.
Specific criteria must
be met for the exception
to be granted.
For the new well ap-
plication, registration
is $175 and the driller
must also submit a $100
deposit.
If the applica-
tion requires an
exception to the
district rules, there
is an additional $50
nonrefundable ex-
ception filing fee.
Once the dis-
trict receives the
new well applica-
tion, and is ad-
ministrat ively
complete, then the
district has up to five
business days to grant
an approval for the ap-
plication.
For the application
to be administratively
complete it needs the
appropriate signa-
tures, fees paid,
and any addi-
tional informa-
tion that’s re-
quested by the
district.
Re s i d e n t s
who al ready
have a water
well can volun-
tarily register
their well with
the district.
Registering
the well with
UTGCD protects
the well’s ground-
water supply by
minimizing well in-
terference conflicts.
District officials
explain when your well
is registered, the dis-
trict can limit new wells
in close proximity. But
first, the district has to
know where your well is
located. Your well has to
be a dot on the district
map.
There is no fee to reg-
ister an existing water
well.
The UTGCD main of-
fice is located at 1250 E.
Highway 199 in Spring-
town. Business hours are
8 a.m. to noon, and from
1 to 5 p.m.
The phone number is
817-523-5200, and the
fax number is 817-523-
7687.
For more visit
Water
testing
continue
in shale
Water testing is continuing in several studies across the
Barnett Shale.
Water well locations in the
four-county groundwater
district.
Groundwater district works
to protect four-county region