Custodians Of The Peace Country SocietyNortheast BC Groundwater Quality and Gas Testing

Custodians of the Peace Country Society

GW Solutions has undertaken a study with the Custodians of the Peace Country Society to better understand the potential risks to watersheds, potable water supplies, and land values from oil and gas activities in the Hudson’s Hope region.

As part of this study groundwater and gas samples were collected in February 2013 from 15 residential water wells, one community water well, and one pond in the vicinity of Hudson’s Hope. The objectives of the testing were:

1) To characterize the water quality of aquifers used for drinking water in the vicinity of Hudson’s Hope; and
2) To identify any evidence of natural gas activity impacting groundwater supplies.

Primary results of the gas and water sampling are:

• There is no evidence of contamination from hydraulic fracturing fluid in the water supplies sampled;
• Gas from a deep formation was identified in the pond, indicating evidence of pathways from deep formations to surface water; and
• Groundwater is naturally high in some contaminants of concern for human health: arsenic (in 11 wells), fluoride (in 2 wells) and barium (in 1 well).

This report presents the results of the analyses of water quality and gas from domestic water wells and a bubbling pond near Hudson’s Hope:

Areas of dense natural gas activities in the Peace Valley region play a key economic role for the local communities.  At the same time, these activities have potential ramifications for water resources due in part to the process known as hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and the use of disposal wells. Among the concerns related to drilling and fracking wells for natural gas is the risk of contamination of shallow aquifers that provide drinking water. There is a concern that these aquifers may become contaminated with fluid used for hydraulic fracturing, natural gas migrating from target formations, or poor quality water migrating from lower aquifers.

Hudson’s Hope is an area of major fault lines, which may make the region particularly susceptible to migration of gas and fluids between deep aquifers and shallow water bodies.

This study was made possible by funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC, the Peace River Regional District, and the Custodians of the Peace Country Society.