Toxic water flowing from an Oklahoma family’s home

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SPARKS,Okla. - An Oklahoma family has toxic drinking water and a sulfur-like smell filling their home.

They family insists oil drilling has caused it, but the Oklahoma Corporation Commission(OCC) says that's simply not true.

The family says they started having stomach issues after they drank the water for a few months.

They say someone from OCC told them to stop drinking it immediately.

The water test showed no signs of a toxic gas commonly produced from oil drilling, but it did say it wasn't safe to drink.

The water looks fine, but standing near it, your senses tell you otherwise.

"As soon as you turn the cold water on, it smells like rotten eggs," Rick Rivas, the homeowner says.

Rivas began noticing the smell after an oil company began drilling near his property off East 980 Rd. in Sparks.

"It was roughly 8-10 days after they drilled and started fracking that well, that we began to notice the smell and the taste," Rivas says.

The sulfur-like smell worried people at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

They say it could be a sign of Hydrogen Sulfide or H2S, a hazardous gas sometimes produced from oil drilling.

"In this case we went around his house with a H2S detector which is extremely sensitive, it is what our people on the ground use to stay alive," Matt Skinner, with the OCC said.

The test came up negative for H2S, but they did say it wasn't safe to drink the water.

"Yes, this water is not something that you should drink, it should only be used for irrigation, but we don't find anything in the data that has anything to do with an oil and gas operation," Skinner says.

Rivas used a handheld tester himself and that measured H2S.

"Says it right there, H2S," Rivas said.

They were advised it could be their septic tank that needed disinfection.

The Rivas' say they've even poured bleach in their water, but when you smell it, you still get a heavy scent of rotten eggs.

"I want someone to fix what's been done," Rivas said.

"These cases are simply what they are, just not good quality water," Skinner said.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission says it's not uncommon to hear of bad water in that area of Oklahoma.

The OCC says as far as they know, they are the only organization that will test water for free.

The Department of Environmental Quality says they have not received any complaints about the issue.

 

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