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Has Binghamton’s water already been affected by fracking?

September 7, 2012

This post was written by Bill Huston and originally posted on his blog. He kindly gave us permission to repost it here.

People in NY think they are safe from the harms of fracking. But are they?

My friend Bret Jennings is a councilor for Great Bend Borough, PA. (Contact: Bret Jennings brett76544@hotmail.com )

He recently told me that some residents on private wells have had their water turn black. Fracking operations are going on ~4000 feet away.

This is a serious problem because these people are on city sewer, but may get cut off, as the chemicals in frack fluids destroy the beneficial bacteria necessary for sewer plants to operate.

I note the water from Great Bend flows towards NY and Binghamton.
Also, I note the City of Binghamton (as Bret tells me) has at least one water source which draws directly from the Susquehanna.

So I started wondering, how many fracked wells exist now in the watershed which drains into the Susquehanna and ultimately provides Binghamton’s water?

I started with some maps found here: http://gis.srbc.net/WRP_FV25/

And I added a layer which shows the flow of the Susquehanna (Yellow arrows) and added a layer for the creeks which drain into the Susquehanna (Pink arrows).

This is the map. (the City of Binghamton is at the top of the map, near the pink dot labeled “Port Dickinson”). All of the orange squares are active well pads:

Image by Bill Huston

As you can see there are quite a few wells which already exist in the watershed which supply Binghamton, Endicott, Johnson City, and Owego their drinking water.

By my count, there are ~61 pads in the Snake Creek, Salt Lick, Starucca Creek watersheds, (and a couple of small streams in between) which are upstream of Binghamton.

Assuming an average of 3 wells per pad, it’s probably a conservative estimate that there are 150 Marcellus wells in Binghamton’s upstream watershed.

At each well pad, tons of chemical poisons are brought on site. Anything spilled at any well site, as well as any “inadvertent return to surface” of injected frack fluids in the purple area on the map will end up in the Susquehanna, which is the City of Binghamton’s water supply.

I wonder how many people there realize this?

We need answers!

  • FIND OUT: How many Marcellus wells are in the headwaters for the City of Binghamton? (est: 150)
  • FIND OUT: Are there baseline water tests for Binghamton’s water PRIOR TO DRILLING (e.g. >4 years ago)?
  • FIND OUT: How many reported surface spills and “inadvertent return to surface” accidents have there been in the Snake Creek, Salt Lick Creek, and Starucca Creek watersheds in the last 4 years?

PLEASE CALL LOCAL NEWS and ask them to report this story:

WBNG Action News —607-729-9575
WICZ-Fox40 –607-798-0070
YNN –607-240-6631 or 1-866-4NEWS10
WSKG —607-729-0100 (ask for news director) / or 729-0200 (leave message)
WIVT-Newschannel 34 —607-723-6403
WNBF-Radio –607-772-8400 (Bob Joseph or news)
Press + Sun –607-798-1151
WHRW –607-771-2139 (news)

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