Science & Technology
7:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Water Samples Scheduled for Lee and Chatham

Scientists from Duke University and the U-S Geological Survey will soon be collecting water samples in communities where there is the potential for shale gas exploration.  

Scientists will be collecting baseline data in Lee and Chatham counties.  The samples will come from private and public water supply wells.  Holly Weyers is director of the U-S Geological Survey North Carolina Water Science Center.  She says it’s important to get ground-water quality data before any drilling.

Holly Weyers:  "Because without that baseline data it’s going to be difficult to determine if the changes in water quality have occurred as a result of the drilling processes.  You don’t really have a before so you don’t really understand the after."

Lee, Chatham and Moore counties are hot spots in the state for deposits of natural gas.  Environmentalists and residents have voiced concern that if North Carolina allows for the controversial drilling technique called “fracking” – it could contaminate the water supply.