Stoney Creek residents accept gas in water
People who live in the Stoney Creek area say their water may not be perfect, but they put up with it.
On Wednesday, NDP leader Dominic Cardy called for a moratorium on drilling in the Stoney Creek area near Moncton. He said a lab found well water that was contaminated with methane, diesel and barium, and that it was unsafe for drinking.
But residents of the area say the water is part of life in the rural area.
Joe Steeves said "pretty near everybody" in Stoney Creek has had some kind of issue with their water quality. The cattle farmer has lived in Stoney Creek for 40 years.
"Well, there's oil and gas in all the water here except the springs. There's a few springs that don't have oil and water in it. But everyone around here has a problem with gas and oil in their water," Steeves said.
Steeves said drilling has been in this community for about 100 years, so people just deal with it.
The Stoney Creek oil and gas field was discovered in 1909, according to the New Brunswick Museum.
Steeves said his water, like many others in the community, comes from a spring.
Judy Parker grew up in the area. She said she remembers her father lighting a match at the faucet and watching the flames shoot up. Although she and her mother are used to the smells and tastes, they drink bottled water now.
But Parker said it's a tough switch for people new to the area.
"The people that are moving into the community, this is new for them. This is not new for us, because this is the water that we have had. And it just appears as though, when you get down to 150, 160 feet, there's a bad vein of water."
The NDP has said that the Stoney Creek family whose water shows high methane levels doesn't want to talk publicly about it.
The Department of Environment told CBC News it would look into the water issue.