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Investigation of Ground Contamination Near Pavillion, Wyoming

Posted by Content Coordinator on Tuesday, December 13th, 2011


Extended Abstract

In response to complaints by domestic well owners regarding objectionable taste and odor problems in well water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiated a ground water investigation near the town of Pavillion, Wyoming under authority of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. The Wind River Formation is the principal source of domestic, municipal, and  stock (ranch, agricultural) water in the area of Pavillion and meets the Agency’s definition of an Underground Source of Drinking Water. Domestic wells in the area of investigation overlie the Pavillion gas field which consists of 169 production wells which extract gas from the lower Wind River Formation and underlying Fort Union Formation. Hydraulic fracturing in gas production wells occurred as shallow as 372 meters below ground surface with associated surface casing as shallow as 110 meters below ground surface. Domestic and stock wells in the area are screened as deep as 244 meters below ground surface. With the exception of two production wells, surface casing of gas production wells do not extend below the maximum depth of domestic wells in the area of investigation. At least 33 surface pits previously used for the storage/disposal of drilling wastes and produced and flowback waters are present in the area. The objective of the Agency’s investigation was to determine the presence, not extent, of ground water contamination in the formation and if possible to differentiate shallow source terms (pits, septic systems, agricultural and domestic practices) from deeper source terms (gas production wells).


Download Full Report (PDF): Investigation of Ground Water Contamination near Pavillion, Wyoming

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