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Rescooped by Linda Cooke from @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy
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Fracking: A Tragic Waste of Water Resources | Green Conduct

Fracking: A Tragic Waste of Water Resources | Green Conduct | Linda Cooke | Scoop.it

The natural gas mining method known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is another major source of water usage and a serious source of contamination. The EPA estimates one well in a coal bed can require anywhere from 200,000 litres to more than 1 million litres while a horizontal well in a shale formation can use between 7.5 million to 19 million litres of water.

 

The EPA estimates anywhere from 15 to 80 per cent of water is recovered. There are several ways of disposing of the water used in the process. It can be stored underground in impermeable injection wells that prevent it from leaking into the environment or in steel tanks or pits; recycled for use in another fracturing well; or treated and discharged back into the water supply. Because of its high salt content, the waste water is often also bought by municipalities for use in de-icing and dust suppression on roads.

 

Although the fluid used in fracking is mostly water, some acids, emulsifiers and other chemicals are added to make the water more viscous and effective at fracturing the rock. These include guar gum, boron, zirconium, titanium, iron and polyacrylamide.

 

Aside from such additives, the process of fracking also releases naturally occurring salts, metals, radioactive elements like barium and strontium and carcinogens like benzene.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Rescooped by Linda Cooke from @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy
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Wastewater Disposal Wells Proliferate Along with Fracking | NYTimes.com

Wastewater Disposal Wells Proliferate Along with Fracking | NYTimes.com | Linda Cooke | Scoop.it

In a dusty lot off the main highway in this South Texas town, Vern Sartin pointed to a collection of hose hookups and large storage tanks used for collecting wastewater from hydraulic fracturing jobs.

 

“We run about 30 to 40 trucks a day, 24-7,” Mr. Sartin said. “Depending on how the oil fracking is going out there, if they’re hustling and bustling, then we’re hustling and bustling.”

 

Mr. Sartin is a watchman at a disposal well operated by Gulf Coast Acquisitions, where each day oil and gas companies dispose of wastewater by pumping it deep underground.

 

Wastewater disposal wells like this one are becoming a common landmark in the drilling regions of Texas as the water-intensive practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, continues to spread. In the fracking process, several million gallons of water, combined with sand and chemicals, are sent down a well to break up rock and retrieve oil and gas. Some of the fluid comes back up, along with additional underground water.

 

Most of this wastewater is trucked to disposal wells and injected thousands of feet underground for permanent storage. But those wells have caused concern about truck traffic, accidents and the possibility for spills and groundwater contamination.

 

Texas oil and gas regulators may soon tighten the rules for the construction of the wells, and they are encouraging drilling companies to reduce waste by recycling more water.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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