ST. MARYS – A sizable crowd was on hand for the first Elk County Gas Task Force educational seminar, held Wednesday evening at St. Marys Area Middle School.
Elk County Commissioner June Sorg acted as the hostess as she introduced each of the seminar's three speakers: Jim Clark of Penn State Cooperative Extension, who spoke about water issues; Mike Donovan of Seneca Resources, who presented a brief overview of Marcellus Shale; and attorney Tom Wagner of St. Marys, who provided information on land leasing.
Among the highlights of Clark's presentation were facts that one million farms and homes in the state have a private water supply and 45 percent of them have never been properly tested. While public water supplies are under mandates to be tested, private water supplies are not.
Clark emphasized the importance of having water supplies tested, especially if there is gas drilling expected to take place nearby. He added that well water should be tested every 14 months. Nearly 50 percent of people in the state get their drinking water from wells.
"All management of private water supplies is mandatory," Clark said. "Many wells have inadequate construction and there are many naturally occurring problems in ground water."
Pick up a copy of the Thursday, June 16, 2011 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.