Gas Drilling Triggers Backyard Geysers in Harrison County WV

6 June 2012

MORGANTOWN (AP) — Authorities in Harrison County say a gas drilling operation in Sardis inadvertently re-pressurized a handful of old wells, creating backyard geysers and minor flooding.

Paul Bump of the Bureau of Emergency Services says it happened Wednesday morning. At least one house was flooded by a 10- to 12-foot geyser.

At others, the water gushed into yards or garages.

No one was injured. The affected homes are on public water, so Bump says there is no danger to anyone, just a nuisance.

The Department of Environmental Protection says Colorado-based Antero Resources was in the early stages of drilling and was using only water when it hit an aquifer. When it pressurized the well, it re-pressurized the old water wells, too.

DEP spokeswoman Kathy Cosco says an investigation is under way.