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Denton Police Investigating Water Pumping At Gas Well Site

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DENTON (CBS 11 NEWS) - It’s a gas well site operators say they’ve never drilled and never fracked.

But a Denton city inspector found it suddenly alive last week.

Eagleridge Operating Company was pumping water out of a wastepond, a police report says, and into a trench.

The pumping stopped, the report says, as soon as the operator noticed the inspector.

The trench into which the water was being pumped goes through a culvert, under a road and ends up in a tributary that becomes part of Hickory Creek.

That creek eventually runs toward Lewisville Lake, a water supply for Dallas.

Two Denton city specialists tested the water in the trench and the creek.

Their tests showed salinity levels similar to brackish water, which can come up during drilling and fracking.

Levels were 10 times higher than previous samples in that creek.

But Eagleridge says it was pumping fresh water into the trench.

Company spokesman Mark Grawe says his company was just cleaning out an old pit.

Their tests showed the water wasn’t contaminated, he said, and safe to pump out.

It’s a case with complicated science.  Denton police said in the past, they would have handed such a case off to state agencies.

However, an investigator with environmental science training is now on staff with the department.  Now Denton police are pursuing charges in some cases.

City labs are still completing more tests on Eagleridge’s pumping.

The company already agreed to clean up as much as it could: 24,000 gallons of water and 48 cubic yards of dirt.

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