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Fracking causes drinking water pollution.

Roughly translated this means – there’s more fracking going on and more worries about water contamination. With clever chemistry you can sort out the methane of rotting vegetation from methane that has leaked out of drilling wells. The results indicated leaks from the wells were causing 8 cases of water pollution.

Hydrocarbon production from unconventional sources is growing rapidly, accompanied by concerns about drinking-water contamination and other environmental risks. Using noble gas and hydrocarbon tracers, we distinguish natural sources of methane from anthropogenic contamination and evaluate the mechanisms that cause elevated hydrocarbon concentrations in drinking water near natural-gas wells. We document fugitive gases in eight clusters of domestic water wells overlying the Marcellus and Barnett Shales, including declining water quality through time over the Barnett. Gas geochemistry data implicate leaks through annulus cement (four cases), production casings (three cases), and underground well failure (one case) rather than gas migration induced by hydraulic fracturing deep underground. Determining the mechanisms of contamination will improve the safety and economics of shale-gas extraction.

Count the number of times that the industry tell you that there has never been a case of water pollution from fracking. If you split hairs you could argue it was not caused by fracking but by well failure. I think that would not stand up to serious examination. Fracking has been shown to cause water pollution. Cement fails. The sky is not pink.

Wells leak. Report from a large fracking company noting the increase in leaks over the years. The article is dense but important.

Wells leak. Report from a large fracking company noting the increase in leaks (SCP) over the years. From 6% on completion to 60% at around 18 years. Methane is a much worse gas than CO2 when it gets into the atmosphere. The article is dense but important.

Although in the UK we tend not to use private wells for drinking water, there is a large number of boreholes used for farm animals. I suspect some of the excellent beers that are brewed in Yorkshire have their own water supply – now that would be serious.


3 Responses to Fracking causes drinking water pollution.

  1. Alisha 16th April 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    Hi 🙂 How was your day? I am doing a project for class where I need to come up with a proposal for an alternative method to fracking. Do you have any ideas that I may be able to use? I am a freshman in high school. Thank you very much for your help!

    • Tim Thornton 16th April 2015 at 6:49 pm #

      I had a good day talking to people in my town, some of whom are also concerned about fracking. ‘It doesn’t make sense’. Alternatives to fracking – it depends where you live. In California you could use the power of the sun, in the mountains you can use wind and harness the power from water running downhill. With some rocks deep underground you can bring very hot water to the surface – geothermal. Many countries have large tidal rise and fall that can be used to make electricity and waves can be used to make electricity too. Remember cars don’t have to run on petrol. Fracking is all about fossil fuels. We should leave most of those carbon based fuels alone as global warming is such an issue now. Fracking is just a dirty, dangerous business that makes a few people very rich and many people upset at their countryside being destroyed and the health of the people effected.
      Good luck with your project.

      • Alisha 16th April 2015 at 7:13 pm #

        Thank you that was a lot of help. Do you have any specific ideas for Texas?

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