ShareThis Page

Dunbar family loses water after seismic test

| Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010

A Fayette County family suspects underground mapping for the oil and gas industry destroyed their well, but the company that is conducting the seismic mapping says it is unlikely the two are connected.

Julia Hair said she and her husband, James, their two adult children and 20-month-old grandson lost water hours after she heard a loud explosion and felt her house on Gettemy Road in Dunbar Township shake on Oct. 22.

"It was a big boom," Hair said. "The house shook. The next day, we didn't have water."

A friend loaned the family a 150-gallon tank to truck water to their home. In addition, Hair said she is using bottled water.

Hair said a Texas-based company, Global Geophysical Services, is setting off small explosives as part of underground seismic mapping. She said she agreed to let the company run cables on her 15-acre plot as part of the testing, but was unaware explosives were part of the process.

She said she did not immediately contact Global after she lost water because she wanted the contractor who drilled the well in 1997 to examine it first.

"We waited because I didn't want to blame them for something," Hair said.

The contractor, she said, determined the well had collapsed. Hair said she then contacted Global Geophysical, which according to its attorney has so far found nothing to indicate it was at fault.

"If we caused it, we'll fix it," said Christopher Graham, senior vice president and general counsel for Global Geophysical. "We want to be a responsible neighbor."

Graham said Global reviewed measurements it took during the testing and found that none of the explosive charges were strong enough to have damaged a well.

"The charts show everything was done outside the required distance, by a long shot, of either houses or wells," Graham said, noting the company is in compliance with standards set by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.