Property owners speak out about Kingfisher saltwater purge

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KINGFISHER COUNTY, Okla. – The Schweitzer family noticed saltwater bubbling out of the ground in July, but they’re worried the water has been leaking and going unnoticed for much longer.

It`s still a mystery.

“Three months of this and no closer now than what we was,” said Ronald Schweitzer.

Why is this potent saltwater bubbling up in the Schweitzers’ wheat field and where is it coming from?

“It is the worst thing to ever happen… something like that to happen on your place,” Schweitzer said.

Three dead trees nearby was the first clue for twin brothers Donald and Ronald that something was terribly wrong.

“When it bubbled up, it went out here to our wheat field. Next thing we knew, we can`t farm it,” Schweitzer said.

Two-to-four gallons a minute. That is how much saltwater is being spewed from the ground.

“That is a lot of water coming out of the ground 24 hours a day. They tell us it is a lot worse than an oil spill,” Schweitzer said.

Other neighbors, some a few miles away, are now finding saltwater on their property, including in their ponds.

“It’s a major deal and people don’t realize how bad it is,” Schweitzer said.

Crews with the Corporation Commission are still working to find the source.

“They`re monitoring all these creeks, checking water and taking tests and stuff like that,” Schweitzer said.

Last week, representatives of four working oil and gas wells nearby agreed to stop operating for 30 days while crews work to find the culprit. But until the problem is fixed these brothers are being cautious.

“For miles it can be coming from where the earth is cracked. Following the cracks and came up here,” Schweitzer said.

A spokesperson with the Corporation Commission says they are still monitoring the situation daily and have contracted people to pick up the water and dispose of it. They don’t believe any drinking water has been affected.

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