Hydraulic-Fracking‘Fracking’ Definition

Hydraulic fracturing, which is also known as “fracking”, is the procedure whereby, drilling takes place and the injection of fluid is inserted into the ground at a high pressure, which in turn, fractures the shale rocks; natural gases are then released inside the drilled space. Fracking is a ‘cheap’ alternative to generate greater energy supplies.

Dangers of Fracking

The main problem most would have with this process is that it has not been tried and tested over a certain period of time, and until it is, there’s just no telling what the exact extent of problems it would cause in terms of consumer health and the impact it could have on the environment.

There is genuine reason for concerns over fracking and these are the facts surrounding the procedure:

  • Each fracture site requires on average, 400 tanker trucks to carry the water that’s needed for each fracking operation
  • To complete a fracturing operation, it takes anywhere between 1 and 8 million gallons of water.
  • To create the fracking fluid, it takes roughly 40 thousand gallons of chemicals to be mixed with water and sand per fracking operation.
  • Each fracking site uses up to 600 different chemicals, which includes Mercury, Lead, Uranium, Radium, Hydrochloric acid and many more.
  • During the fracking process, toxic chemicals and methane gas leaks into the system, this then contaminates groundwater that is near to the site.
  • Methane concentration levels in water near fracking sites, is 17xs greater than that of water in normal wells.

Food for Thought

In the US, there are approximately 500 thousand active gas wells, which has used 8 million gallons of water so far, per fracking and in total, a well can be fracked eighteen times. This means that since fracking was introduced in the US, there have been a whopping 72 trillion gallons of water and 360 billion gallons of chemicals used to run the gas wells.

As each fracking site requires vast volumes of water, there are now certain parts of the US that have a shortage in water supplies.

So, not only is fracking potentially very dangerous for human health due to the chemicals used, but the sheer amount of water used could cause serious problems in the future across the globe if/when more countries decide o use fracking as a method of generating more energy.

Recycling ‘Frack Water’

There are some parts of the world that not only use fracking as their way of generating more water, but also to recycle the fracking sites. In other words, the actual recycled water cannot be cleaned; however, the water can be cleansed of any chemicals and debris caused by rocks that in turn can be reused in order to frack extra wells nearby. Doing so could have its own dangers, but energy companies have stressed how much money this would save, which can then be passed onto the consumer.

Recycling frack water would help with the issue of using an enormous amount of water needed; however, this still doesn’t solve the issue of the potential effects it could have on the environment and human health.

What We Can Do

People, even if they live near a fracking site, do not have to drink the water that goes through their tap as there are other alternatives. One being investing in a water cooler; at least this way people would know that what they are drinking is safe and healthy for human consumption. Also, water coolers eventually pay for themselves as they can save homeowners and businesses a lot of water.

John, the author of this article has worked within the water industry for many years, supplying water coolers to businesses and homeowners around the UK.