Saturday, July 12, 2014

Water Returns After Drying Up In Dalworthington Gardens Pappy Elkins Lake No Thanks To XTO Energy

Last night I got around to reading this week's Fort Worth Weekly.

This week's Fort Worth Weekly cover story is about a subject about which I have had some in person experience, and about which I have blogged multiple times.

That subject is the XTO Energy gas drilling site on the shores of Pappy Elkins Lake in Dalworthington Gardens.

The cover article is titled DRYING UP IN DWG with a sub-title of Water and facts have a way of getting lost in Dalworthington Gardens.

The "facts have a way of getting lost" part of the title and the fact that one key fact was not factual, according to what I saw with my own eyes last month, is a bit ironic.

The drying up referred to in the title is in reference to the claim that Pappy Elkins lake had shrunk from being a lake to being a puddle.


Friday, June 27 I was in Arlington, walking around Veterans Park. An extremely loud noise was coming from the direction of the XTO Energy site by Pappy Elkins Lake. So, after I was done walking I drove to Pappy Elkins Lake to the site of the XTO Energy site to turn off my engine and listen.

No noise.

And Pappy Elkins Lake looked no different than the first time I saw it way back on Sunday, October 24, 2010.

I assume the heavy rains last month re-filled Pappy Elkins Lake

Many Dalworthington Gardens locals believed the missing water was due to XTO Energy sucking the water out of the lake to frack its well. Well, wells.

The FW Weekly article claims there have been 11 wells drilled at the Pappy Elkins location. How is that even possible? I recollect the original drilling and a followup appearance of the drilling rig, just like what happened when Chesapeake Energy moved into two locations in my neighborhood.

Those who blame XTO Energy for a host of woes, including missing water, formed an organization calling itself Pappy Elkins Restoration Group, aka, PERG.

Among the many things which upset PERG is the apparent fact that when the permission was first granted to poke a hole in the ground beside Pappy Elkins Lake XTO Energy said they would not be asking to use the lake's water. Then after the hole was drilled XTO changed its mind and asked DWG's city government for a water sucking permit, with the expected approval of TCEQ.

Permission was granted to remove 3.2 millions gallons for the first well. By 2010 XTO Energy claims to have used 10.8 million gallons to frack three wells.

I do not do well at math, but if by 2014 there have been 11 wells drilled at this site does this mean that over 33 million gallons of water have been used to do the fracking?

On the left you are looking at the first XTO Energy Pappy Elkins drilling operation, with the tower hovering above the apartment complex to the east of Veterans Park.

I remember when I first saw this I was appalled, because it looked as if this was right amongst the apartments, which is what led me to find out where it actually was. That had me walking through the apartment complex, which had me meeting some upset residents, which I then wrote about in a blogging titled Finding Wildscapes Under A Barnett Shale Drilling Operation In Pappy Elkins Park In Dalworthington Garden.

If you go to the Finding Wildscapes link above you will see what the XTO Energy Pappy Elkins site looked like back in 2010. At that point in time, adjacent to the drilling tower was a Dalworthington Gardens Wildscape garden. That garden is now totally gone, covered over by the XTO operation.

The FW Weekly article makes mention of other things that don't match what I have seen. For instance mention is made of a baseball field and park on the north side of the lake, which the city allowed XTO to take over to install wastewater storage tanks. Back in 2010 I did not notice a baseball field or park and in June I did not notice any storage tanks.

Then again, at that point in time I had no reason to look for storage tanks or a missing baseball field.

I used Google Earth to do a closeup flyover of the site and could not find anything which looked like an old baseball field or storage tanks. I'm not suggesting FW Weekly made a mistake, I'm just saying I never saw these things, just like I never saw the lake looking like a puddle.

Mention is also made of a nearby school. I do not know where that nearby school is. I have not seen it.

In the Fort Worth Weekly article there is absolutely no mention made of the residences closest to the XTO Energy Pappy Elkins drilling operation, that being the apartment complex I previously mentioned.

Why in the world did Dalworthington Gardens allow drilling to take place at this location? No wonder the locals are upset and have PERGed.

11 wells drilled at that location? Can anyone make sense of that for me?

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