Radionuclides Main Page

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To help better understand the impacts of drilling activities on water quality adjacent to Beaver Run Reservoir, we are now including results from laboratory tests on levels of various radionuclides in water samples. These analyses are performed by Pace Analytical in Greensburg, PA. Water samples are gathered by IUP Project field personnel or MAWC personnel at select sites per ESL's sampling protocols, then returned to ESL. ESL then provides portions of these samples to Pace Analytical for analyses. Tests include: Gross alpha/beta emitters, radium 226, and radium 228.

For a description of the radionuclide analysis methods, see Analysis of Radionuclides.

2017 Radionuclide Compound Monitoring

One of the concerns related to gas extraction activities in the Marcellus and Utica shale strata is the possibility of radionuclides entering waterways adjacent to drilling pads during the drilling and hydrofracturing (fracking) steps of creating a new well. In late summer and early fall of 2017, CONSOL Energy began installing more Utica shale gas wells at the Aikens Pad at Beaver Run. Water samples were gathered over several weeks near the drilling activity and sent to Pace Analytical via ESL for testing gross alpha/beta emitters, radium 226, and radium 228. Below are the results from those tests.

Sampling Period Sample ID[1] Gross Alpha
Gross Beta
Radium 226
Radium 228
09/27/2017 MAWC-PA-01 <MDC 1.42 ± 0.440 <MDC <MDC gross beta above MDC[3] of 0.559 pCi/L
10/03/2017 MAWC-PA-02 <MDC 1.92 ± 0.566 <MDC <MDC gross beta above MDC of 0.715 pCi/L
10/10/2017 MAWC-PA-03 <MDC 2.93 ± 1.02 <MDC <MDC gross beta above MDC of 1.50 pCi/L
10/17/2017 MAWC-PA-04 <MDC 1.69 ± 0.476 <MDC <MDC gross beta above MDC of 0.555 pCi/L
10/24/2017 MAWC-PA-05 <MDC <MDC <MDC 1.38 ± 0.713 radium 228 above MDC of 1.27 pCi/L
10/31/2017 MAWC-PA-06 <MDC [4] <MDC <MDC all reported levels were below their respective MDC values
11/08/2017 MAWC-PA-07 <MDC <MDC <MDC <MDC all reported levels were below their respective MDC values
11/14/2017 MAWC-PA-08 <MDC <MDC <MDC <MDC all reported levels were below their respective MDC values


  1. ^ Sample IDs are not related to any current Beaver Run Project sites, but rather designators for CONSOL or MAWC for sites near the Aikens Pad.
  2. ^ Units are in picocuries per L. A Curie is a unit of radioactivity equivalent to 1 gram of radium and the prefix "pico" means a trillionth.
  3. ^ MDC = minimum detection concentration
  4. ^ Gross beta results were not provided for this sample.