Odessa Hydrogeologist Proposes Study On San Andres Wells

Odessa Hydrogeologist Proposes Study On San Andres Wells

IMPERIAL, TX (KWES) - The San Andres formation in Northern Pecos County is having some negative effects on the landscape. There is a possibility all of that could be put to a stop with a study conducted by an Odessa Hydrogeologist. Among the estimated eight wells in Northern Pecos County, one created Boehmer Lake it is being fed by an Artesian- flowing well from the San Andres and with 20 years in the making - we are not seeing very positive effects.

"You can see the stressed vegetation and the salt," said Gil Van Deventer, a Sr. Hydrogeologist with Trident Environmental. "That brings a concern to the environment, safety and infrastructure."

Originally meant to test oil back in the 1940's or 1950's, the wells now produce brackish water. Most contain H2S gas which along with other minerals could be very damaging.

"It kills off vegetation and you get non-native species," Van Deventer said.

The wells in the area were drilled nearly six to seven decades ago and their effects deteriorate the soil. The amounts of salt that is found weakens agricultural production and sometimes could lead to sinkholes.

"Sinkholes have happened out here," said Van Deventer. "This one may show signs of incipient subsidence to where it could be happening if you've got pipelines and electrical power lines and highways. It puts those at risk too."

Another effect of these wells is the possibility of the minerals absorbing into the soil and into the shallow aquifer.

"There is communication between the two if you have failed integrity of a well or you have this salty water sitting on top it will percolate down into the shallow water table and that's not good," he said.

Van Deventer has met with the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District and introduced his idea to fix the problem. Van Deventer will meet with the district again on August 18 to try to move forward with this study.