OHIO — Water is the enemy of fire, except in Jason Kline’s house. When a flame gets near his faucet, a fireball erupts. Around Christmas, the family noticed their water started fizzing. When Jason’s wife, Debby, lit a candle near the sink, they learned something was very wrong.
“Oh, I was so scared. It just was a huge explosion, the entire sink went up to the ceiling,” Debby says.
The Kline’s water is full of methane gas and they’re not sure why. About six months ago, Mountaineer Keystone Oil and Gas company put in a drilling rig in a field catty-corner from the Kline house.
The company paid for an EPA-certified test of the family’s well water, which showed methane levels around nine, which is acceptable. But in December, something changed after the drilling began.
“Methane levels have more than doubled and we’re wondering if this is all just coincidental,” Jason says.
Mountaineer Keystone LLC Director of Security Operations, Anthony Aulicino, wrote in an email:
“Ohio Department of Natural Resources regulations require pre-drill testing of well water within 1500 feet of a proposed drill site. Superseding regulations, we tested Mrs. Kline’s residence, which lies over the required distance. At Mrs. Kline’s request, we funded an independent lab of her choosing. Those results showed elevated methane levels in her well water existed prior to the start of any drilling activity.”
After the December incident, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources tested the well water and registered a level of 22. 28 is considered hazardous.