By Sarah Pridgeon
Residents near Carlile can expect to hear results of groundwater testing in the area soon, says Lily Lee, Groundwater Section Manager for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). For the past few months, DEQ has been investigating reports of water wells suddenly running dry or overly acidic.
“There will be updates posted before the end of February,” says Lee.
The DEQ was alerted of the issue in August, 2017, when a local landowner discovered that two wells had dried up literally overnight after not demonstrating any problems over its 17-year life. Testing began in October and, by November, the DEQ had completed its analysis on 32 private wells in the area identified, 18 miles northeast of Moorcroft, and identified five wells with an acidic pH level at or below four and an additional three wells and one spring with pH levels slightly below the state standard of 6.5 for domestic wells.
“We have received all of the analytical data back from the lab and are completing our validation of the data,” Lee says.
“Once finished, we will be sending letters to all landowners where sampling was conducted along with what the data means. For those landowners where pH was below our Chapter 8 Water Quality Rules and Regulations or other parameters that may be below standards, we plan to meet with those landowners to discuss the findings.”
The parts of this process will occur within a few days of each other, says Lee, to ensure that all landowners receive their data at the same time. The dedicated website for the project will then be updated for interested parties at deq.wyoming.gov/wqd/gillette-madison-well-field-project.
“We hope to have this all completed before the end of February,” Lee says.