"Many of us around here have our own private wells and it would effect everybody as well as the municipalities that have their own municipal systems," says Kathy Shimberg, Otsego County resident.
And whether you live in an urban or rural community, coordinators say water quality is an issue that affects everyone.
"Nature doesn't pay attention to man-made boundaries so if it happens anywhere near here, it would probably effect everybody here," says Shimberg.
"Natural gas drilling is going to disturb the quality of our water and make it so we can't drink it anymore. So we have to have some evidence that our water is good," says Scott Brady, Otsego County resident.
Brady is another private well-owner. He says experts can test the water in his well to create a baseline. That way if fracking ever contaminates his water, he'll have the proof.
"We can say our water is good now. That way if something happens in the future, then we can move in an appropriate fashion to remedy it," says Brady.
"Identify what that normal variation is and then should drilling occur, you look for those same parameters falling outside of the normal variation as an indication that something may have changed, perhaps as a result of the activity," Scott Fickbohm, Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation district manager.
Fickbohm says that baseline will also help state regulators measure the environmental impact, should fracking come to Otsego County. The next step is testing the waters.
"It's what we set out to do. Get out and visit 50 streams around the county, private residences, and their private wells, to establish a baseline and should drilling occur, we'll look for a change," says Fickbohm.
"Everybody should know about this, country wide as well as state wide," says Shimberg
And this Otsego County water-quality study is among the first of its kind.
For more information: www.occainfo.org or www.otsegosoilandwater.com/waterqualitycc.html