Oil in my friend's well water. Is she rich?

A friend has a cabin with a well. Thing is, whenever you wash the dishes there, an oily film is left behind on the plates, no matter how carefully you wash them. The oil, it seems, is coming from the well water itself.

So should my friend contact Texaco and start shopping for a Beverly Hills mansion? (We are hillbillies, after all.)

Or is this phenomenon not unusual?

There is shale in the area, and iron ore, if that’s any help.

Cue banjo:

Come and listen to my story 'bout a man named spoke-
And his hillbilly friend who was nearly always broke
But then one day they were washing off some food
And next thing they knew it was coated in crude
…oil, that is
Black gold
Texas tea

No, she’s poor. Or she will be after having to drill a new well.

Hope she can afford bottled water.

Odds are that somebody else owns the mineral rights under her land.

Or at least will own them, after people find out there’s oil there, & the records get tampered with.

That is not the case, I assure you.

That’s nice.
Now, see to it that your friend gets a lawyer to assure her.

You’d be suprised…


You’re a lawyer?


Learn something new…

I meant “I learn something new every day”.

That was an easily misinterpeted post.

No malice was intended.

I don’t like to bring it up on the boards. :slight_smile:

And no offense was taken, my friend.

There’s oil all over the place under the ground. There’s more oil in canada and venezuela than in the middle east. The problem is that it isn’t as easy to get it out of the ground in those places. Your friend probably has the same problem. Unless there’s a huge amount of oil in her well, and it is easy to get to, it ain’t worth diddley right now.

Knowing nothing about the locale where your friend lives, is it possible that the water is contaminated by oil leakage from somewhere else? In which case it may be very difficult to drill a new well that is not also contaminated.

Has this been the case ever since she dug the weel? Is it new?

My first thought would be a nearby leaky underground pipeline, or toxic waste dump. Or some industry in the area just dumping its waste right out on the ground in a rural area.

But I’m a pessimist.

That’s sort of what I figured. I figure the oil might be seeping in from the shale in the area and might not necessarily be indicative of pooled oil. Which is why I’m asking my friends on the SDMB.

The location is very rural. No nearby pielines or possible sourse of contamination, to answer your question, Boyo Jim and MLS.

Or as Woody Allen said, “The meek shall inherit the earth, but not the mineral rights.”

What type of well does she have? If it is a dug well, wash well or driven point, they are very succeptable to surface contamination.

I’d recomend testing the water and keeping your fingers crossed it doesn’t have oil.

It is a drilled well. And there is zero chance of surface contamination in this location.

I can get the water tested, but given the sheen on the dishes, there’s no question it has oil in it. (And yes, my friend uses bottled water for drinking, ice, etc.)

You don’t need the SDMB, you need an Environmental Engineer, with a full lab.

Commission an analysis, before you do anything else.

You’ve only mentioned a sheen on the dishes. Is there also a petroleum smell?

How close is the well to the septic tank? It could be oil from there. :eek:

By all means get the well checked.