No Fracking Way

Shale Gas Contaminates Surface Water

by Chip Northrup on March 18, 2013

New study out on the impacts of shale gas on surface water in Pennsylvania indicates that the greatest impact is downstream of flowback treatment facilities and run-off from fracking. No surprises there. Flowback toxins will contaminate rivers and streams and well sites are a bit messy. The study did not look at groundwater impacts – whereby people’s water wells get gassed directly by the shale wells themselves. Because everybody already knows that . . . right ?

Results suggest that (i) the treatment of shale gas waste by treatment plants in a watershed raises downstream Chloride concentrations but not Total Suspended Solids concentrations, and (ii) the presence of shale gas wells in a watershed raises downstream Total Suspended Solids (TSS) concentrations but not Chloride concentrations.

So flowback toxins or run-off from fracking gets into surface water. Or both.

The nature of surface water contamination from shale gasdevelopment considered here is qualitatively different from the groundwater concerns explored in the literature (5, 7). Although groundwater concerns may have primarily to do with contamination directly from wellbores or shale formations, surface waterconcerns may have primarily to do with off-site waste treatment and above ground land management.

Meaning groundwater gets gassed directly by the shale wells.

Pick your poison – either

A. Flowback toxins or

B. Run-off from fracking operations, or

C. Both, if you live downstream of a flowback disposal operation and well drilling, or

D. Any of the above, plus your water gets gassed if you live near a shale well, or

E. None of the above – if your town bans all that nonsense. 

Up to you.

pick your poison


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