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USGS Finds Dissolved Methane in Ulster County Groundwater

A study conducted by the US Geological Survey found a handful of water wells in Wawarsing contain dissolved methane gas. Nine percent of all 239 wells studied across the state found varying levels of dissolved methane.

Study author William Kappel said the Ulster County survey was centered on the New York City aqueduct under Wawarsing, but also looked at private wells.

“We did get several indications there; everything from virtually no methane to in several cases where people had between 10 and 28 milligrams per liter”, Kappel said.  “That’s in the area where you need to be aware of the situation where you need to continue to monitor it to make sure it’s not increasing or you could get into a situation where people have lit their faucets.

The findings are based on randomly selected water wells that draw their water from either bedrock or unconsolidated aquifers. The samples were collected and analyzed by USGS from 1999 to 2011 across the state as part of several groundwater quality studies.

Kappel said the findings for New York are similar to those seen in studies of other northeastern US states.