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Water Testing Information for Marcellus Shale


The listing of parameters below have been compiled from multiple sources such as PA-DEP, Penn State, etc.



Tier 1:
pH, Alkalinity, Acidity, Chloride, Sulfate, Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Specific Conductance, Total Hardness, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Aluminum, Barium, Calcium, Total Coliform w/Ecoli, Methane and Ethane.


Tier 2:
All parameters listed in Tier 1 along with Sodium, Potassium, Strontium and Nitrate.


Tier 3:
All parameters listed in Tiers 1 and 2 along with Oil & Grease, Arsenic, Lead, BTEX, and MBAS.



It is of PA-DEP and Penn State's recommendation that you have a third party such as Mahaffey Laboratory collect the sample.

The Oil and Gas Regulation (25 Pa. Code Chapter 78, Section 78.52) states, "(b) a person who wishes to document the quality of a water supply to support a future claim that the drilling or alteration of the well affected the water supply by pollution may conduct a pre-drilling or pre-alteration survey in accordance with this section. (c) The survey shall be conducted by an independent certified laboratory.

A person independent of the well owner or well operator, other than an employee of the certified laboratory, may collect the sample and document the condition of the water supply, if the certified laboratory affirms that the sampling and documentation is performed in accordance with the laboratory's approved sample collection, preservation, and handling procedure and chain of custody."

This is not an all inclusive list of parameters that could be analyzed for a water supply, but are only suggested parameters. If you require additional parameters or have your own list, please inform Mahaffey Laboratory.





Click on the following links for more information on the Marcellus Shale

Penn State Cooperative Extension

PA DEP - Methane Gas


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