People Worried About Dangerous Stinky Water

NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio – Residents of North Royalton are worried about their water after finding out that their water taps become instant torches if you light a match near them. It's all because of a gas that's permeating their well water, Action News' Paul Orlousky reported.

All over town, people are talking about a demonstration of burning well water -- shake it up, hold a match to it and collected gas explodes.

Action News found out that a demonstration is nothing compared with what people in North Royalton live with every day.

Water from Frank Cheek's kitchen sink is explosive, and the smell from the water is enough to knock you over.

Cheek said that he has been toughing it out long enough. He said that he wants to tie in to city water, but some neighbors don't want to take on the cost, so he's stuck with well water saturated with methane.

"It comes from when you're running the water -- that's when it really gets very strong," Cheek said. "They're trying to determine the danger factor."

So far, it has been determined that there's no reason for Cheek to leave his home, but he's been told not to close any windows either.

Methane gas could be heard invading Geri Cheek's water well, next door to Frank. You could see it swirling from the well cap, which was left ajar for a very important reason.

"If we had it capped with the buildup of gas it could explode," Geri said. "It's troubling."

On Thursday, the well water at Geri's home was tested by federal investigators, and the news was not good. Health officials said her water had very high gas content.

Much like Frank next door, Geri and her family can only grin and bear it.

"We don't drink it, of course," Geri said. "It smells."