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EPA's Study of Hydraulic Fracturing and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources

Sources Contributing Inorganic Species to Drinking Water Intakes During Low Flow Conditions on the Allegheny River in Western Pennsylvania

Norris et al. EPA Report. May 2015.


EPA scientists evaluated sources of bromide and other inorganic pollutants impacting drinking water intakes on the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania to examine the potential impacts related to the treatment and disposal of oil and gas well produced wastewater. Study results demonstrate that multiple sources contributed bromide concentrations to public drinking water intakes on the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania, with the major sources being centralized oil and gas wastewater treatment facilities that treat wastewater from hydraulic fractured wells, and coal-fired power plants that use flu-gas desulfurization. This research study is also significant in demonstrating the application of source apportionment techniques to evaluate a complex array of source impacts on public drinking water system intakes. This work was done as part of EPA’s Study of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources.

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