Origin of Natural Gas in Well Water Investigation / Mitigation


Gas Transmission Company



CEC Services

  • Groundwater Monitoring and Assessment
  • Soil/Groundwater Remediation Systems
  • GPS/GIS Services

Owner Objective

In response to a natural gas migration report published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a natural gas transmission and storage services provider conducted a study to identify the source or sources of natural gas in private water supply wells located above a gas storage pool.

CEC Approach

The main elements of the study that were performed by CEC included sampling of water supply wells, a study of the local geology, and fingerprinting of potential sources of natural gas in the water wells.

While performing the study, CEC developed a Voluntary Mitigation Program in conjunction with the client to offer sampling of water supply wells. It also offered the installation of aeration systems to mitigate dissolved methane if detected at concentrations greater than a pre-established threshold. CEC prepared letters for approximately 300 homeowners that discussed the results of the USGS natural gas migration study and offered to test their water supply wells. CEC also created a toll-free Domestic Well Hotline that fielded more than 100 calls to coordinate sampling appointments.

Upon receipt of the laboratory data, letters were prepared to deliver the results to the homeowners via certified mail. Homeowners with test results exceeding the pre-established threshold were subsequently sent a Landowner Acknowledgement that outlined the options for obtaining an aeration system.

Relations between the client and the community were important throughout the project due to its prominent nature. CEC communicated with hundreds of homeowners as well as coordinated and conducted the testing of approximately 140 domestic water wells. CEC also successfully interfaced with the homeowners and two general contractors to coordinate the installation of more than 30 aeration systems.

Analysis of the local geology and the compositional and isotopic signatures of storage gas and native gases indicated that the natural gas in the water wells was sourced from shallower, native gases and not from the storage pool.