Quake May Have Sent Carbon Dioxide to Surface Officials Offer New Theory on Gas Found in Wood Dale Home
Craven, Karen, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Karen Craven Daily Herald Staff Writer
A mini-earthquake may have caused a Wood Dale family's basement to fill with carbon dioxide, officials say.
DuPage County environmental officials are investigating whether the shifting may have caused water to hit a pocket of carbon dioxide beneath the earth's surface.
Two weeks ago, the nontoxic, nonflammable gas filled the basement of a house on Orchard Drive. The gas displaced the oxygen in the basement, prompting city officials to declare the house unlivable.
While carbon dioxide exists naturally in the air and soil, the level of the gas in the basement was 20 times higher than normal.
City, county and state officials determined the gas entered the basement through the sump pump, but they haven't been able to determine the source of the carbon dioxide.
They've been boring holes into the ground around house and throughout the neighborhood and say the soil samples contain abnormally high levels of carbon dioxide.
Late this week, one theory emerged as another fell flat. Soil tests revealed that decomposing animals didn't generate the gas but that a mini-earthquake may have triggered the release of the carbon dioxide beneath the earth's surface.
Geologists detected a small amount of seismic activity in the area in early January, said Greg Wilcox of the DuPage County Department of Environmental Concerns. …