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The developing problem in brominated organics of the pubic drinking water supply in south western Pennsylvania

Schultise, David K (2013) The developing problem in brominated organics of the pubic drinking water supply in south western Pennsylvania. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Shale found in the United States and globally represents a source of energy and economic impact too enormous to ignore. However, there are potential environmental impacts that have been discovered utilizing the unconventional drilling methods needed to extract gas from shale. In the U.S., there are environmental concerns involving to air and water quality as well as other factors such as impacts on communities. In Wyoming, where air quality is normally quite good, has seen extremely high levels of ozone since the gas extraction has begun. In other areas such as Pennsylvania there have been concerns of shale drilling and the contamination of private drinking water wells. Many research studies have focused on methane migration in shallow ground water wells. Additionally, in western Pennsylvania there has been an association with shale gas waste-water and elevated levels of bromide in rivers which is a major resource for drinking water. Bromide itself is not harmful and had not been tracked or regulated in Pennsylvania and therefore there are no historical records to reference. Bromide is a significant public health risk because bromide reacts with chlorinated organics to form disinfection by-products called trihalomethanes (THMs) in chlorinated drinking water. Local water quality experts observed higher than normal levels of brominated species of THMs since unconventional drilling in the Marcellus shale began in the region. Brominated species of disinfection by-products have been described by toxicologists as probable carcinogens and are more toxic then the chlorinated species. The numbers of violations for THMs in South Western PA correspond with the increases in drilling activity and shale gas waste-water. Additional research and policies regarding unconventional drilling and waste-water management are needed.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Schultise, David K
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBarchowsky, Aaronaab20@pitt.eduAAB20UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberCasson, Leonardcasson@pitt.eduCASSONUNSPECIFIED
Date: 17 April 2013
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Environmental and Occupational Health
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 06 May 2015 15:07
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 11:57


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