Proposed Gas Well Near Grapevine Lake Brings Contamination Concerns

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Monday, Nov 22, 2010  |  Updated 7:00 PM CDT
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A new proposed gas well in <a title=Flower Mound would be next to Twin Coves Park on Grapevine Lake, but there are concerns over contamination." />

Ken Kalthoff, NBCDFW.com

A new proposed gas well in Flower Mound would be next to Twin Coves Park on Grapevine Lake, but there are concerns over contamination.

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Dallas Water Utilities officials are concerned about contamination over a request to drill for natural gas beside Grapevine Lake in Flower Mound.

The lake is a major drinking water source for The City of Dallas, Highland Park, Grapevine and other customers of Dallas Water Utilities including Flower Mound.

Flower Mound rules forbid drilling within 500 feet of an environmentally sensitive area.

A variance request pending with the Town of Flower Mound asks to allow drilling much closer in this case.

"It’s all in the drainage area that goes into Lake Grapevine," said Dallas Water Utilities Assistant Director Charles Stringer.

"So it’s of concern to us whether it’s one foot or 500 feet. And we just don’t want to see any brine or any other waste products coming from the well, entering in the water supply. That’s our main concern," Stringer said.

Gas wells dot the western side of The Metroplex but Stringer said this is the first one proposed so close to a City of Dallas drinking water reservoir.

"We are watching this," Stringer said.

The Town of Flower Mound is planning to renovate and reopen the closed park.

Neighbor Alan Naul has been planning a new home nearby but the gas well proposal has him thinking twice.

"It doesn’t just affect a few folks in Flower Mound. It really could affect a good chunk of The Metroplex," Naul said.

The applicant is Keystone Exploration of Fort Worth.  President Tom Blanton said the well can be drilled safely without threatening the lake.

"We can not take the risk of having any kind of contamination enter those waters," Blanton said.

He said an earthen dike would be constructed around the drilling rig to keep run off out of the lake.

Blanton said proposed drilling site is 40 acres owned by the former owner of several surrounding subdivisions.

He said that owner retained the mineral rights on those home sites when selling them and is now attempting to exercise those rights.

A Town of Flower Mound hearing on the variance is set for December 15th.

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