CSU Study: Water Safe To Drink Despite Drilling

November 9, 2015
Photo: Oil drilling, pump jack, Colorado, sunset
The sun sets behind an oil pump jack near Fredrick, Colo., in 2012.

The Coloradoan reports that civil and environment engineering professor Ken Carlson led studies analyzing the impact of oil and gas drilling on groundwater in the 6,700-square-mile Denver-Julesburg Basin.

More than 30,000 active or abandoned wells for oil or natural gas sit on the basin.

Carlson says there is not a "chronic, the-sky-is-falling" problem with water contamination.

The study did find, however, that 2 percent of sampled wells showed the presence of methane. Methane can be explosive, but the university says it's not toxic and not a huge factor in terms of drinking water safety.

The team didn't find bariums, chromiums or other dangerous soluble contaminates.