FORT WORTH (August 31, 2014) University of Texas at Arlington researchers say their study of North Texas water wells shows higher levels of arsenic and other carcinogens compared to a decade ago.
In the study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, UTA biochemists measured 100 wells across the natural gas-rich Barnett Shale.
Thirty percent of those within 1.8 miles of active gas drilling had 18 times the amount of arsenic and other heavy metals, the study found.
One of the researchers, UTA biochemist Zacariah Hildenbrand called the results "alarming."
Researchers believe the wells were contaminated when shaking caused by hydraulic fracturing knocked rust off old pipes and into fresh water, but Texas Alliance of Energy Producers spokesman Alex Mills called the theory "a little farfetched."