Watch: Man ignites tap water 4 miles from Louisiana sinkhole — It started bubbling after giant hole formed (VIDEO)

Published: November 1st, 2012 at 3:04 am ET
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Title: Faucet water found flamable in Napoleonville man’s home
Source: FOX44
Author: Kris Cusanza
Date: October 30, 2012
h/t Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle

Imagine going to grab a glass of water only to find out what’s brewing inside the cup could burst into flames. [...]

[Ronald] Pate lives four miles away from a giant sinkhole in Bayou Corne. He says ever since the hole formed he’s noticed something extra in the water. [...]

Pate says he’s concerned that the if the gas doesn’t go away something worse could happen.

Chris Piehler with the Department of Environmental Quality

  • “Methane producing micro biological activity occurs near shallow aquifers that may not be suitable for drinking water use”
  • “He just happened to have stuck a well into the water and is pulling water out of the ground in a very natural state and it has methane gas in it”

Napoleonville resident Ronald Pate

  • Pate says after hearing the test results he doesn’t know what to believe, because gas in the water shouldn’t happen
  • “If i can light the water in my faucet something is wrong”
  • “I don’t think it’s natural if you got enough methane to come out in your water to be safe, if you can light it like that”
  • “I noticed more bubbles in the water… I mean it wasn’t like that before [the sinkhole]“

More from DEQ’s Piehler:

Published: November 1st, 2012 at 3:04 am ET
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10 comments

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10 comments to Watch: Man ignites tap water 4 miles from Louisiana sinkhole — It started bubbling after giant hole formed (VIDEO)

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    The scientist that thought that bubbling in the swamp was cool..was only correct in the fact that..this natural 'venting' might keep the place from blowing up.
    But it is also indicative of the size of the…how do they put it? …the 'leak'.
    It also may or may not prevent explosion..IMHO.


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    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      Its suspicious that they (DEQ) first claimed there was NO methane found in the aquifer, then they found a 4' and 10' LAYER of methane trapped under a clay layer of the aquifier, and now they're saying that this guy's water just has naturally-occuring methane that was always there.

      They don't seem to have any idea how much natural gas gushed up from the side of the salt dome, but they did think to put together a base of clay contour map. Some parts of the clay layer have its bottom at 90' down, some at 200' down. If you have enough gas to build a 10' layer at the 90' clay, then the methane bubble is most likely along that shallower clay – not the deeper clay. Page 6:

      http://dnr.louisiana.gov/assets/OC/Public_Briefing_2012_10_23_letter.pdf

      Napoleonville (the town) may be four miles away. If this guy's well is near a ridge of shallow clay that runs back to the sinkhole, then he could very well be seeing effects of migrating gas. If I were him, I would want to see a bottom of clay contour map that at least shows the shallow clay for five miles around the sinkhole.

      If that contour map is the furthest out the DEQ or DNR care to prepare (because of cost considerations, time, resources, etc.) then they are being grossly and willfully negligent of resident's safety. An eighth-grader could tell you that the gas would spread out underneath the shallow clay bottom for miles. It just depends how much escaped from the formation.


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      • jec jec

        AND Fingerprint!The fingerprint of the gas should be provided to the home owner. Is it poossible e the area is being pressurized.>Could it be the a small top layer (swamp gas) is being forced out by the deeper methane. Sounds logical..but again..just an engineer..not a geologist. The rise in the floor of the cavern, the 50 foot..might indicate pressure..Note the MIGHT, COULD..as this is just a theory.


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        • PavewayIII PavewayIII

          Swamp gas is made by the microbes near the surface – like within tens of feet. I would think this guy's well is not from surface sources, but from under the first clay layer. That would be true Mississippi Aquifer water. There isn't any swamp gas in that layer – there's nothing to decay and no microbes to make gas. If its from that deep, then it has to be methane from natural gas.

          If this guy's well is shallower than 90' (or above the top of the clay) then it could be either source. The water is pretty brackish there though – I don't think they even consider that fresh water for livestock use.


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  • Stephengn

    I live in Louisiana and I can guarantee this fella won't get a straight answer from the DEQ. I've seen it to many times.

    This video shows how, during the BP disaster, the first amendment was been suspended

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXsmLMV1CrM

    Try to get close to or investigate the sinkhole and you will get thrown in a hole. The only story is the official story here in cancer land.

    The United States was a quaint idea and freedom was fun while it lasted


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  • richard richard

    no, this is not natural, yes, this is wrong.

    "better get a lawyer son, gonna need a good one to get you out of this one."

    fair dinkum. how can people be living in that? You'd have to leave and demand compensation, surely. But who do you sue .. in Oz, you'd probably sue the council first, as they permitted the 'land usage'.

    insane.


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  • Weeping Lulu Weeping Lulu

    Humm, I'd be worried when you hear them saying it's not dangerous the people live in there so what do you tell them now!“Methane producing micro biological activity occurs near shallow aquifers that may not be suitable for drinking water use” Ok, so here's what I find http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/eh/ChemFS/fs/Methane.htm


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  • Radio VicFromOregon

    Thx for the link, Weeping Lulu.

    No way we can tell without more info, but, DEQ can't either, unless they've come out in the past and tested his well. He may have dug it himself and they are operating on the assumption that it is not a properly placed well. But, in Oregon, DEQ was defanged under Reagan and new management put in place that was ordered to be more business friendly. Reagan's administration had decided the DEQ was taking Nixon's Clean Air and Water act too seriously and enforcing laws. So, things get clean here, a little at a time, but, what could take six months takes about 5 to ten years to accomplish so that polluters, (remember, they are the job producers is the theory) are not negatively impacted by having to not harm the environment.


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  • dosdos dosdos

    First, methane is the same thing as natural gas.

    This sort of thing, often worse than this case, where the faucet stream can be dramatically set afire, is often associated with fracking. It's nothing new. Look at the media associated with fracking and you'll see many cases of this.

    The aquafers in the US are being systematically destroyed by the release of all sorts of chemicals used in fracking, methane being the most benign of them. The area within a dozen miles of the sinkhole is probably affected and will become uninhabitable without porting in water from outside the area. The methane will continue to infect the local aquifers for years to come. There is no way to stop it.


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