Is Fracking contaminating ground water? Making it flammable?

I've been reading a lot about fracking in the UK recently and have been a little worried about the environmental impacts of such an activity. Now I can see that there may well be a long term issue due to the quantity of invasive tampering which is required but recently I have come across this which appears to be a little more immediate.


The video shows people setting fire to the gas present it their water supply. To me it looks a bit of a stretch as surely the heat source would be negated by the running water but I'm by no means an expert. Wondering if anyone has any more information on this?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The video shows people setting fire to the gas present it their water supply. To me it looks a bit of a stretch as surely the heat source would be negated by the running water but I'm by no means an expert. Wondering if anyone has any more information on this?
The water is not set on fire. There's gas escaping from the water, and that is what is burning.
 
That's what I assumed. So, it's essentially coming out of the tap along with the water? I was just wondering as it looked a bit set up to me.
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
http://www.water.org.uk/home/news/press-releases/challenge-on-gas-fracking

 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
I can't watch videos, but is that one from one of the Gasland fearamentries?

Let's discuss one issue at a time---methane in the water.


http://hotair.com/archives/2013/07/...wasnt-big-enough-were-going-full-garden-hose/
Methane can enter a water well from sources other than a fracked gas well.


http://extension.psu.edu/natural-re...-and-its-removal-from-wells-in-pennsylvania-1



http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=3619


http://www.watersystemscouncil.org/VAiWebDocs/WSCDocs/Methane_Gas_and_Groundwater_Revised_0311.pdf


http://www.science20.com/science_20/blog/methane_drinking_water_whats_rumpus-115728

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/06/a-base-line-for-methane-in-water-supplies/?_r=0
A poster there had an interesting post.

http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2013/06/theres-methane-in-your-drinking-water-so-what.html




http://www.popularmechanics.com/sci...-about-natural-gas-drilling-6386593-8#slide-8

http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/0...ard-nominee-gasland-33228.html?pagewanted=all


http://freebeacon.com/fact-checking-gasland-part-ii/

http://www.truthlandmovie.com/

http://energyindepth.org/gasland-ii-debunked/

http://energyindepth.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Debunking-Gasland.pdf

I will admit that some of the sites I listed are biased, they are from the gas industry.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
http://www.water.org.uk/home/news/press-releases/challenge-on-gas-fracking

There is usually a great distance between the ground water and where the fracking is happening beneath the surface.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ap-study-finds-fracking-chemicals-didnt-spread

The link refers to a preliminary study. Is there any evidence where fracking has been proven to cause groundwater contamination?
 

M Bornong

Senior Member.
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ap-study-finds-fracking-chemicals-didnt-spread

The link refers to a preliminary study. Is there any evidence where fracking has been proven to cause groundwater contamination?
There is usually a great distance between the ground water and where the fracking is happening beneath the surface.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ap-study-finds-fracking-chemicals-didnt-spread

The link refers to a preliminary study. Is there any evidence where fracking has been proven to cause groundwater contamination?
Kern County CA has been fracking about as long as anyplace. Thus far, the oil companies have won every law suit concerning ground water contamination
 

Jay Reynolds

Senior Member.
Finally, even if a supply of water is available, there may not be enough existing pipework to deliver it to the fracking site, and the infrastructure that is in place could also be at risk from seismic activity induced by the fracturing process.
They truck the water in, or drill a water well to get the water they need for fracturing. It gives lots of work for truckers, a whole lot of work. I've seen this in central Arkansas where no one EVER thought would produce anything but timber or cattle. The drilling phase did cause a lot more truck traffic I noticed as I drove through frequently.
 
Last edited:

David Fraser

Senior Member.
The link Oxymoron provides is from a site that represents all the UK water companies. They are concerned as they have nit been included in the consultancy as such. However they are clear as to were their concerns are.

Firstly their concerns over contamination lay within poor well management and disposal of the slurry.
Secondly they are unclear as to where water will be abstracted or disposed of and how it will be transported, and especially how much burden cost they will suffer.
I have to be honest and for the water resources we have we are piss poor at managing it in some areas. Some parts of the country, especially in the South, seem to be in a constant state of having drought notification and restrictions on water use. Rightly so the water companies have some cause for concern.

The other issue is the publics concerns. Fracking is new to the UK and there has been little happening. There was a drilling site in the North West but drilling was suspended after a couple of earthquakes which have been linked to fracking. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21120-how-fracking-caused-earthquakes-in-the-uk.html

However the government are really pushing fracking as a panacea and claiming it is totally without safety issues. Mind you they seem to favour drilling in the North of England which some have described as desolate areas. The more cynical minded, like me, suspect that a push to fracking has very little to do with energy security and more to do with the potential independance of Scotland and the loss of a great deal of North Sea oil revenue.
 

muttkat

Banned
Banned
That's about right. Corporations own the government and can do as they please. ;)
Did you watch that documentary Gaslands II on HBO last month? It was a very good show. As far as corporations owning the govt, that is true. Kiing Obama has been praising drilling for gas to slow our dependence on foreign oil but what he doesn't state how it pollutes the peoples groundwater and all the methane fumes you can see at the fracking sites. It shows this man who just built a 12,000 sq ft house with pool, natural pond in Dish, Tx. He goes outside to lawn hose and gets a lighter and lights the water and he has flames coming out of his lawn hose. I think the whole town is moving, even the mayor.

And the thing that sucks is the homeowners whose family is getting sick...MOVE and cut your losses, sometimes. With all this gas production which is suppose to lower our utilities is getting sent to the Asian countries because of the high demand and especially more $$$$$ than from American markets. It's all about greed and $$$$ and screw the landowners.

It also shows the EPA in DC having their meeting with whoever which is suppose to be public but they arrest the guy who made the documentary because they want no journalists there. Of course, the EPA has been telling various families their groundwater is fine...NOT. Reminds me on 911 when the EPA told responders the air was fine at Ground Zero..just another lie.

About 6 years ago I got approached for fracking and I went for it and they had 3 years to do it and didn't, thank God. I didn't know much about it then but if they were to approach me again, I would tell them no now. Anyway I had someone who worked in the oil fields and they stated I was getting screwed on my contract.
 

muttkat

Banned
Banned
There is usually a great distance between the ground water and where the fracking is happening beneath the surface.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ap-study-finds-fracking-chemicals-didnt-spread

The link refers to a preliminary study. Is there any evidence where fracking has been proven to cause groundwater contamination?
If you get a chance watch the documentary Gaslands II. It was on HBO about a month or 2 ago. In some study, it stated the cement casings failed like 40,50 % of the time, somewhere in there and caused groundwater contamination. Various homeowners had to get truckloads of water to use and feed their livestock.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
I do not have HBO and Gaslands II is nothing more than a fearamentry. Fox even staged parts of it , like the burning water from a hose. Why don't check out some of the links I posted? Fox is fear monger and a liar.

Do you have a link to proof of this ground water contamination.

The facts on his arrest are a lot different.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...house-hearing/2012/02/01/gIQA2fKmiQ_blog.html

 

scombrid

Senior Member.
Did you watch that documentary Gaslands II on HBO last month? He goes outside to lawn hose and gets a lighter and lights the water and he has flames coming out of his lawn hose.
Videographer hoaxed that scene.

With all this gas production which is suppose to lower our utilities is getting sent to the Asian countries because of the high demand and especially more $$$$$ than from American markets.
I lived next door to a power plant that was converted from oil to gas turbine. The gas was a lot cleaner. My rates were pretty good too. Apparently the gas is supplying our markets as well.
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
Fracking is not going down well with some in Dorset, although the Daily Mail does not agree with the protesters.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/a...England.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

Dave makes an excellent point about water mismanagement in the U.K. Whilst we have an abundance of rainfall, let it stop for a little while and hose pipe bans are quickly scheduled and people are castigated for showering too long or taking baths.

It is largely due to lack of maintenance of old water pipes and lack of investment in new pipes and infrastructure. The water companies being more intent on making huge profits rather than investing in the future.

Having said that, wind farms are attracting protests as well.

http://www.thisisdorset.co.uk/Dorse...tory-17828034-detail/story.html#axzz2bx1S88pI
 

Rafterman

Member
Natural gas in water wells is nothing new. In fact it's one of the things exploration companies look for when deciding if an area has recoverable gas. You typically want to drill in areas with natural gas in the ground. I know, crazy right?

There are also readily available devices that will bleed the natural gas out of your water well. They are inexpensive and easy to install. In some cases you can even recover the gas for your own use.

I don't have it handy, but I have seen a copy of the Colorado environmental agencies report on the well featured in the first Gasland documentary and it clearly states the gas is naturally occurring.
 

Grieves

Senior Member
http://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-fracking-groundwater-pollution?newsfeed=true
http://www2.epa.gov/region8/pavillion
http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/fra...ze-study-blaming-fracking-for-water-pollution
http://thecanadian.org/item/2152-je...g-report-on-water-contamination-from-fracking
in regard to contamination.

As to the seismic issue:
http://www.theatlantic.com/technolo...-a-massive-increase-in-30-earthquakes/255568/


A new United States Geological Survey study has found that middle America between Alabama and Montana is experiencing an "unprecedented" and "almost certainly manmade" increase in earthquakes of 3.0 magnitude or greater. In 2011, there were 134 events of that size. That's six times more than were normally seen during the 20th century.
"A naturally-occurring rate change of this magnitude is unprecedented outside of volcanic settings or in the absence of a main shock, of which there were neither in this region," the scientists write.

The conclusion that at least one environmental group has drawn from this data is that fracking, in one way or another, has caused these earthquakes. The Environmental Working Group notes that more than 400,000 wells were drilled between 2001 and 2010, a 65% increase over the previous ten-year period. They also note that the new extraction techniques require vast amounts of water to be injected into the ground: major producer Chesapeake estimates that it uses about 5 million gallons of water per well. Lots of wells plus lots of water injected underground could change the subterranean conditions and lead to more earthquakes.
 

Rafterman

Member
Lo and behold, this just popped up in my Facebook feed:

http://energyindepth.org/national/the-continuing-fraud-of-gasland/

It discusses both "flaming water" incidents and links to the various investigatory documents (including the Colorado one I mentioned above) which prove that both incidents were poppy cock.

Just another example of how when addressing these highly polarizing issues that we'd all be better served to argue real facts instead of immediately going to the 'shock' arguments that are so easily disproved. Frankly I'm of the opinion that in the long run, stuff like this hurts the anti-fracking movement and just gives more ammunition to the pro-side.
 

Grieves

Senior Member
Sensationalism aside, the risk of water contamination is real, and obviously so, given the nature of the process itself. The seismic issue is to me somewhat more debatable, but it's by no means 'conspiracy theorists' solely espousing it, as the links above confirm.... and again, it's hardly an unbelievable premise given the nature of fracking. Turning large swaths of relatively solid and stable subterranean rock into a brittle network shifting cracks and fissures is a process that could very understandably fuck with the geology of a landscape in unpredicted ways.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Grieves solid rock is not as solid as non geologists think it is. I think that much of the misinformation about fracking is grounded in the lack of a knowledge of geology.

The basic bedrock for Dallas is the Austin Chalk formation. Under it is the Eagle Ford shale. The formations here are at laid down at about a 30 degree angle, so the chalk layer gets 'thinner' as you go west and ends around Grand Prairie (DFW airport is on the Eagle Ford formation).

The chalk is great for building the foundations for skyscrapers. Many years ago, when One Main Place was built, they did relied on the seismic work done for a building cattycorner to it. They had to excavate about 100 feet down. They got to around 70-80 ft and ran into the Eagle Ford shale. By the time they had the entire 100 feet excavated, they discovered that they had a major problem---the shale rock had expanded when weight of the overburden rock was removed and the bottom of the pit (a square block). The 'solid rock' expanded by around 3-4 inches. However, when the building was completed, it's weight would re compress the rock and then the building and the parking garage would not align up. They had to hold off building the parking garage, until 2/3rds of the tower was built. This left the excavation open. Early one morning, the side of it, along where an ancient fault intersected it, collapsed and the one of the major streets in downtown Dallas fell into the hole. The fault, was exposed and rainwater had 'lubricated' it. The vibrations from the building and from the street caused it to give way. Sorry I can't find a link for this, it happened in the late 60s, and my source was a local geology professor, who has since passed away.

The point of that story is that 'solid rock' is not solid.

Fracking produces microcracks that are held 'open' by particles of sand. The fracking itself is not causing the minor quakes. The disposal of used fracking fluid is. The wells may end up near ancient, frozen faults and the water 'lubricates' it enough it can move a tiny bit. It is not that unusual for things to trigger minor quakes. Dams and their reservoirs will also cause them. This does not mean that these faults are going to 'wake up' and become active.


Several of your links revolve around the work of an environmental activist, Jessica Ernst. I did a quick look for hare 'reports' and didn't find them. Found a lot of her promoting herself and her views.

I am aware of the Dimrock 'issue'. It wasn't one.

There has been some minor contamination from the well bore not being cased properly. It was local and limited and proper drilling would have prevented it. There is a concern in the Marcellus shale about possibility of pollution being able to use old, lost and improperly sealed wells (from the 1800s early 1900s) as a conduit to groundwater.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Another interesting place to look for some answers is Quora. The answers are not vetted however, but they can lead to some interesting links.


http://www.quora.com/Hydraulic-Fracturing/What-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-fracking


http://www.quora.com/Hydraulic-Fracturing/Does-fracking-harm-the-environment


[ex[During a Q&A about his film, GASLAND, Josh Fox admitted to knowing that people could light their water on fire many, many years before hydraulic fracturing. He decided not to include the information in his film because "it isn't relevant."[/ex]


http://www.spilmanlaw.com/Resources...ay/Hydraulic-Fracturing---Studies-Without-End


One thing that has come up, is a 'conspiracy theory' about the funding of anti fracking groups

http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-and-shale-gas-2012-10
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
No I didn't. [...] I do not have the time to search through a ton of her propaganda to find here 'reports'. Why don't you post a simple link to them--I would like to see how she conducted her studies.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Grieves

Senior Member
No I didn't. [...] I do not have the time to search through a ton of her propaganda to find here 'reports'. Why don't you post a simple link to them--I would like to see how she conducted her studies.
http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/wp-...ane-migration-and-hydraulic-fracturing-v4.pdf

Here's the full report. Didn't have to read through a 'ton of propaganda' to get it, had to scroll to the bottom of the very brief article I posted and click the link entitled 'download the full report'.

I was actually however referring to this:
Grieves solid rock is not as solid as non geologists think it is. I think that much of the misinformation about fracking is grounded in the lack of a knowledge of geology.
which was seemingly a response to the link I provided in regard to the theory fracking causes earthquakes. Thing is, it's not my theory,it's a theory composed by government geologists. That kind of refutes this statement pretty soundly.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
The second link you post is all you really needed to post. The EPA is studying the possibility of fracking causing contamination to ground water in Wyoming. Their preliminary reports seem to suggest that and their full report will be out in 2014. I also agree that this is not a conspiracy theory.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
And Grieves, [...] since the link you posted didn't conclude that the earthquakes were caused by fracking ! The 'Environmental Working Group' is not government geologists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_Working_Group

They are still circulating the nonsense about cell phone radiation also.



From the abstract

Now to the 'report' 93 pages of it. Ok, about 20 pages of that nonsense is all I can take. She is including old wells with contamination from the bore hole and coal seam methane production and anything else that is slightly related. I am leaving my link to her paper up, let me know where she shows contamination to ground water from the fracking, not the well bore.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
And Grieves, [...] since the link you posted didn't conclude that the earthquakes were caused by fracking ! The 'Environmental Working Group' is not government geologists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_Working_Group

They are still circulating the nonsense about cell phone radiation also.



From the abstract

Now to the 'report' 93 pages of it. Ok, about 20 pages of that nonsense is all I can take. She is including old wells with contamination from the bore hole and coal seam methane production and anything else that is slightly related. I am leaving my link to her paper up, let me know where she shows contamination to ground water from the fracking, not the well bore.
There is a study published in Science by a William Ellsworth, Earthquake Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA, that seems to suggest some of the processes associated with Fracking are causing earthquakes.

From the abstract:

 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Thanks Landru, it is the waste water injection wells that are the problem, not the micro quakes. And only a few of those.

Using injection wells is a known problem,


http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/colorado/history.php



http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/08/denver_earthquakes_40_years_ago_uncle_sam.php

 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
There is a study published in Science by a William Ellsworth, Earthquake Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA, that seems to suggest some of the processes associated with Fracking are causing earthquakes.

From the abstract:

I was just going to post a synopsis of that study

http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_story/man-made-earthquakes/

It is clear that processes around fracking can cause earthquakes, however rare. In relation to the OP in the UK we were told there was no danger and then 2 occurred over a short span. Then add in possible contamination links to water due to poor well management I think is definitely cause for concern.
 

Joe

Senior Member
I do not have HBO and Gaslands II is nothing more than a fearamentry. Fox even staged parts of it , like the burning water from a hose. Why don't check out some of the links I posted? Fox is fear monger and a liar.

Do you have a link to proof of this ground water contamination.

The facts on his arrest are a lot different.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...house-hearing/2012/02/01/gIQA2fKmiQ_blog.html

Dam I hate to agree with you but its all fear-mongering . Need to watch Fracknation which exposes the lies from Gaslands . Of course its all political . I think Natural gas is a cleaner fuel . http://www.humanevents.com/2012/03/06/soros-others-set-to-cash-in-on-natural-gas-act-payday/
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Fracknation is good.

Natural gas is cleaner and it will become a major bridge fuel until greener forms are available.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
You should read some the fear mongering that his mom, Deborah Dupre posts on the Examiner. Real nonsense.
 

Joe

Senior Member
You should read some the fear mongering that his mom, Deborah Dupre posts on the Examiner. Real nonsense.
Iv seen enough from Dutchsinse antifracking earthquakes etc . Every time there was a earthquake he'd find a fracking well nearby and blame it on that ?
 

Related Articles

Top