Water quality is holding steady on the Allegheny River even though Marcellus shale drilling waste water and other river contaminants linger, according to one of the most comprehensive water surveys in the region.
However, all the news is not good: water from a creek in Indiana County that eventually drains into the Allegheny River via the Kiski River near Freeport keeps turning up bromide, a salt often associated with waste water from Marcellus shale fracking and abandoned mine drainage.
When combined with chlorine to treat drinking water drawn from the Allegheny, bromide form the carcinogen trihalomethane (THM).
The results are part of the Three Rivers Quest (3RQ) study, now in its third year, covering more than 30,000 square miles of the Upper Ohio River Basin. There are 54 sampling locations along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers and at the mouths of their major tributaries.