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From Michael Beegle

By Staff | Jun 8, 2011

To the Editor:

There has been much debate and speculation on the effects of drilling for gas (fracking) on ground/well water. I have been watching and listening closely to these events.

Anyone who has a well should probably be concerned, even those with municipal water service (most are supplied by wells).

I have contacted different agencies about getting a certified laboratory to check your water before and after they frack in your area.

I mentioned that Tyler County would make a good test case, because there has not been that much drilling (fracking) done yet.

This could go along way to settle this debate with the results of these tests.

I contacted Tyler/Wetzel County Health Department. They informed me (“at first”) that they had received the kits but was not trained in their use. I was led to believe that sometime later they might get the training and this service would become available.

Later on I saw a couple articles in the Wheeling papers about the Marshall and Ohio County Health Departments offering certified water testing.

So I called Marshall County Health Department. They told me yes, they were offering the test (only to residents of Marshall County and for a service fee for each test). She told me the health department had received a lot of calls from residents about such a program. The health department did some research and found a certified testing program.

She offered to call Tyler/Wetzel County Health Department to share this information. She called back and told me Tyler/Wetzel was not going to offer this testing service.

I called Tyler County Health, and was told they were forbidden to conduct the test. I asked who told them not to perform the test, and was told it was the Regional Director in Wheeling.

I called the Regional Director and he informed me he “in no way told Tyler County that they could not run the test.” He was told by his boss he “was not to go out in the field to run tests.”

I called Tyler County back and more or less was informed they didn’t want to be bothered with the time hassle and controversy of the test. I guess the health and well-being of its residents are not worth the time and hassle of a paid provider. (Taxes, levies, and fees.) Remember this the next time you need a certified septic system!

Michael Beegle

Tyler County resident