Faucet water found flamable in Napoleonville man's home

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 11:00am

Imagine going to grab a glass of water only to find out what's brewing inside the cup could burst into flames.

"if i can light the water in my faucet something is wrong," said Napoleonville resident Ronald Pate.

Pate lives four miles away from a giant sinkhole in Bayou Corne. He says ever since the hole formed he's noticed something extra in the water.

"I noticed more bubbles in the water," said Pate. "I mean it wasn't like that before."

Pate's water comes from a private well on his property. He says after heard about what happened in Bayou Corne; he called in the Department of Environmental Quality to help figure out what's going on. The DEQ checked inside Pate's water shed and found increased levels of methane gas.

"Methane producing micro biological activity occurs near shallow aquifers that may not be suitable for drinking water use," said Chris Piehler with the DEQ.

Piehler says pate's water problem is not connected with the Bayou Corne situation. Piehler says it's not unusual for shallow water aquifers in Louisiana to contain methane.

"He just happened to have stuck a well into the water and is pulling water out of the ground in a very natural state and it has methane gas in it," said Piehler.

Pate says after hearing the test results he doesn't know what to believe, because gas in the water shouldn't happen.

"I don't think it's natural if you got enough methane to come out in your water to be safe, if you can light it like that," said Pate.

Pate says he's concerned that the if the gas doesn't go away something worse could happen.

"I'd like to see the parish send me water back here that I can rely on," said Pate. "I don't have to worry about the methane and all that ."

Officials with the Department of Health and Hospitals say they also tested the water for chemicals and found higher levels of arsenic and barium in the water. Pate was advised not to consume the water.

Pate says he can't afford to do independent tests on his well, so for now he will have to continue using bottled water instead of tap in his home.

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