Written by John Plestina
With concerns about potential impacts to well water in Roosevelt County from hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” and other oil industry activity, the Roosevelt County Conservation District is offering a well sampling program.
Fracking is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at high pressure to fracture shale rocks. The practice has been increasing in the Bakken formation in eastern Montana and North Dakota.
The RCCD in Culbertson through the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering a baseline well water sampling program to determine if current water quality is potable or usable and to identify wells where there might be a presence of oil and gas development impacts.
“The purpose of this is with all this oil activity and of course you hear about the fracking, and the fracking might hurt wells, so we want some baseline data on the wells,” NRCS district conservationist Rob Brae said.
He said landowners in the Wolf Point area should consider the program.
“There hasn’t been as much oil activity in the Wolf Point area yet, but if the oil activity moves west in the county, it would be nice to have this baseline data before the oil activity got started,” Brae said.
The cost to property owners is $35 per well and there will be a limited number of wells tested. The deadline sign-up is July 1. Sampling will be done at a later date.
For more information, contact the RCCD in Culbertson at 787-5232.