Weatherford Democrat

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February 4, 2014

Water contamination remains

By CHRISTIN COYNE

Several people, including a few Azle-area residents concerned about recent earthquakes, showed up Saturday to watch Steve Lipsky light his well water on fire during an open house at Lipsky’s Silverado on the Brazos residence. 

Lipsky, frustrated after more than four years of dealing with gas in his water and legal battles regarding the issue, invited the public to hear his side of the story and see the gas in his well in south Parker County. 

Despite a 2011 letter from Range Resources declaring his water safe to drink, Lipsky said the gas in his well has only gotten worse and he continues to have to truck in water to use.  

Lipsky said the EPA and other researchers have told him that the contamination was caused by wells drilled by Range Resources near his home. However, Range Resources says the gas is naturally occurring, something the Texas Railroad Commission agreed with in 2011 after a hearing in which Lipsky and the EPA did not participate. 

Geoffrey Thyne, who analyzed water samples from more than 30 area wells for the EPA and recently conducted additional independent research on the issue, told the Associated Press that at least two wells show that the gas comes from the same source as gas in Range’s wells and that the contamination appears to be spreading and getting worse in some areas. 

Thyne said he believed Range used a different sampling method. 

Duke University, which also did testing at many area homes, is also expected to soon release a report on their findings of the situation. 

Even when the gas coming from a headspace vent on the well or the spigot of water isn’t lit, gas can be seen coming from the well and containers of water taken from the well bubble like champagne. 

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