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Citizens of Granville, PA can set their tap water on fire

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Since June of last year, Granville, Pennsylvania's Sherry Vargson has had to cook using water, not from her tap, but from a five gallon jug.

Why, you ask? Well, according to the Wall Street Journal, Ms. Vargson's tap water contains so much methane gas that when she lights a match beside her faucet, a gigantic flame bursts into her sink. That's why.


The WSJ's Mustafa Abdulaziz writes:

Many water supplies in northern Pennsylvania have long contained detectable levels of methane, because of poorly constructed water wells and the unusual geologic features here. But the contamination in Ms. Vargson's existing well is among the first cases that state regulators have attributed to natural-gas drilling.


Pennsylvania sits on top of some of the country's most gas-rich shale in the United States, making it a veritable gold mine for companies looking to harvest natural gas by deep-drilling and fracking. But stories like Vargson's beg the question: couldn't this energy be harvested without the unfortunate side effect of, you know, setting people's kitchens aflame?

[Via The Wall Street Journal]
Image via WSJ