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"Living Next to a Natural Gas Well; Drinking Contaminated Water": WDTV West Virginia 03-21-12

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Published on Mar 23, 2012

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"...Living Next to a Natural Gas Well; Drinking Contaminated Water
Written by Zach Maskell
Last updated on March 23, 2012 @ 9:32AM
Created on March 21, 2012 @ 11:36PM

Back in November 5 News introduced you to a Harrison County woman who says her life was changed completely when natural gas drilling wells were put up just a few hundred feet from her home.

She was put on sleeping medication, got into a car accident with a well truck, and even took money from her savings account for an early vacation. We caught up with her to see what she's dealing with now.

Although the drilling and hydraulic fracturing ended a couple months ago and the noise has finally died down, Leann Kiner says the repercussions continue to haunt her. What happened this weekend was just a reminder her property may never be the same.

"I hate my home. I hate living here now. A place I used to love; I now despise," said Leann Kiner, a homeowner.

Her biggest fears were confirmed when she found out from a neighbor, not Antero Resources, that a "water buffalo" had to be installed next to her house.

"I still didn't really realize what was going on at the time. I didn't know they was going to tap into my whole house," said Kiner.

Subcontractors were called in by the drilling company Antero Resources to install a 2,500 gallon drinking water tank. Leann no longer has access to her well water.

Kiner said "I had great well water. In fact I have a girlfriend who can vouch for that. She loved to take a shower here because it made her hair so soft."

High levels of the chemical are in both Kiners and her neighbors wells.

5 News attempted to contact Antero to see if there is a link between the drilling and arsenic but our phone calls have not yet been returned.

"When I read my levels to her neighbor, he said that I had more arsenic than he did. And they called the health department and the health department told him his level was not a safe level," Kiner explained.

Although she says her sink isn't so bad, the water pressure in her shower has gone down plenty and she's not fond of the ear piercing alarm that goes off letting her know the water tank needs to be refilled.

Kiner and her house pets now have a clean water source but her horses aren't so lucky. They used to drink from a nearby stream but now more work is required to feed them. Her goddaughter now goes into the garage, drags a heavy duty hose across the street to their barn so she can fill up a drinking trough.

"I'm stuck. Nobody's going to by it. It's worthless. It's a worthless piece of property," said Kiner.

More Information

Private wells are not subject to the EPA's Enforcable Drinking Water Standards because there are tens of millions of them, which would make it unenforceable.

Instead, EPA officials said in response to the new findings that people should test their private wells "if they suspect possible contamination." The new USGS maps are useful for well owners who want to check the hot spots.

Testing a well for arsenic costs as little as $15 to $30, while treatment systems for removing arsenic cost $1,200 to $3,000, according available sources...."

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