Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology




Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology


There is a growing concern over the contamination of surface water and the associated environmental and public health consequences from the recent proliferation in hydraulic fracturing in the USA. Petroleum hydrocarbon-derived contaminants of concern [benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX)] and various dissolved cations and anions were spatially determined in surface waters around 14 coalbed methane fracking wells in Sullivan County, IN, USA. At least one BTEX was detected in 69% of sampling sites (n=13) and 23% of sampling sites were found to be contaminated with all of the BTEX. Toluene was the most common BTEX compound detected across all sites, both upstream and downstream from coalbed methane fracking sites. The calcium (~60 ppm) and sulfates (~175 ppm) were the dominant cations and anions, respectively, in surface water around the fracking sites. This study represents the first report of BTEX contamination in surface water from coalbed methane hydraulic fracturing wells.



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