ALLARMing – Volunteer Water Samplers Find No Impacts from Fracking

An MDN reader and friend recently forwarded along an email newsletter from the ALLARM Shale Gas Program. ALLARM stands for Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring. With the rapid growth of the Marcellus industry in Pennsylvania shale drilling in neighboring states, “concerned citizens” wanted ways to collect data on water quality impacts from shale gas activities. As a response to requests from communities, ALLARM developed a volunteer-friendly protocol in 2010 to assess small streams for the early detection and reporting of surface water contamination by shale gas extraction activities. Volunteers (i.e. anti-drillers) monitor water quality throughout the year, including conductivity, barium, strontium, and total dissolved solids–and physical parameters, including stream stage and visual observations prior to, during, and after shale gas well development. Monitors also participate in a quality assurance, quality control program which includes in-person trainings, routine meter calibration, and sample testing via split-sample analysis two times a year. Since they began monitoring local streams, nearly 5,000 observations have been logged. And what have we learned from all of this monitoring? That shale gas drilling is safe for local streams…

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