Fracking & Water Safety: New Technology

fracking water contamination
fracking water contamination

A new test will help monitor the risk of contamination of groundwater due to fracking activity.

Related: Fracking Facts: Is Our Water Supply at Risk?

As fracking has increased across America and around the world, so has the debate about the risks to the environment and our water supply. Numerous studies are presenting contradictory conclusions and making it hard to determine the truth about the safety of fracking.

Related: Is Fracking Safe?

Researchers from the UK have developed a new way to check for water contamination and could help monitor the safety of shale gas and coal bed methane extraction.

During the fracking process, shale rocks below ground are split with high-pressure fluids to release gas that is recovered for fuel and some claim that the process adversely affects ground water close by.

Creating this fingerprint test will enable gas exploration and extraction to be carried out responsibly and should help address public concerns over this technology. It is important that careful monitoring of methane levels in nearby waters is carried out when commercial extraction begins.
— Dr Stuart Gilfillan, University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences

These scientist plan to presenting their findings at the European Geosciences Union Conference in Vienna.

Other fracking studies:

  • Yale: measured well water near fracked wells concludes that ‘there was no evidence of association with deeper brines or long-range migration of these compounds to the shallow aquifers
  • EPA: claimed certain fracking activities that have the potential to impact drinking water resources but found no evidence that these activities have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water in the United States.
  • John Hopkins : concluded possible adverse health outcomes associated with fracking