Lawsuit Filed Over Saltwater Purge In Kingfisher County

Thursday, March 11th 2021, 5:06 pm
By: Karl Torp

OMEGA, Oklahoma -

A lawsuit has now been filed over a saltwater purge in Kingfisher County.

The water bubbling up from the ground was first discovered in the summer of 2019 and state regulators are still baffled.

Right now, every minute around a half gallon of saltwater is coming up from the ground in Omega along the Kingfisher-Blaine county line.

A year ago, the flow rate was about three gallons per minute.

”It’s pretty nasty, heavily salted brine water,” said attorney Justin Hiersche.

Hiersche is representing the landowners now suing energy and water disposal companies.

“The vegetation around the purge is actually dead,” said Hiersche.

He thinks the water has been produced through oil and gas production.

Seven companies are listed in the lawsuit, including Devon Energy and Bison Oilfield Services.

Hiersche thinks wastewater from oil and gas production was being disposed of at too shallow of depth and flushed the saltwater to the surface.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission pumps the water out every day.

“This purge is very different than any of the other purges that we’ve had to deal with,” said OCC spokesman Matt Skinner.

OCC cannot pinpoint the exact reason for the purge.

It’s greatly reduced or eliminated water disposal in an 11,000 square mile area around the purge, but the water continues to flow.

Hiersche said it’s no coincidence that when water disposal in the area slowed, so did the purge.

“It’s generational land. This is their legacy and they don’t want it polluted,” said Hiersche about his clients.