Pavillion Residents Set for Trial with Encana Over Water Contamination

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The Pavilion water controversy might be resolved soon in Fremont County.

Some property owners said it's been nearly 20 years since Pavillion’s water was contaminated.

They said it was due to Encana Oil and Gas Company and their operations.

Jeff Locker, a Pavillion landowner told News 13, “What started the whole thing was they were working right behind the house I don’t know if they pressured it up or what not.”

Locker added his wife was doing chores around the house when they noticed their water turned completely black with an unpleasant smell.

“That’s catastrophic and it can happen naturally if you have an earthquake or an atomic bomb or something like that but this had to do with what they had to do back behind our house.”

Although it happened years ago, Locker's son said he still recalls the day.

"I still remember when it happens like my daddy. Just turned black and I could taste the chemicals in the water, I’ve worked oil and gas 10 years of my life what happened was not natural in my opinion,” said Eric Locker.

Unsure of the cause the family used a filter that seemed like the answer at the time.

However, Locker's wife became sick shortly after.

"My wife has suffered some long-term health issues mostly neuropathy some cognitive stuff and she’s not getting better with nerve damage does not heal itself,” shared Locker.

Encana researchers have tested the water, but not much has changed for Pavillion residents.

“So far nothing has been done to fix it. They've deemed the water unsafe even for animal consumption so without the cisterns nobody could live here.”

Encana spokesman, Doug Hock was unable to go on camera but released a statement stating:
“Encana is committed to completing work on historic pits and they will follow the proper pit closure requirements”.

Locker concluded he just wants the company to take liability.

“We just want to hold them accountable for what they’ve done to my wife and I and our family our neighbors. We’ve been living with this for close to 20 years and finally hopefully maybe we can get some resolution to this.”

That resolution might come soon. The Locker's case against Encana is set for trial in 2018.

Over 30 Pavillion residents, including Locker rely on cistern tanks for their water source.