Fracking: The Water Problem

1308 Words3 Pages

Ever since the process of hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—made its entrance to the oil industry, issues and problems surrounding the process have become a common occurrence. Fracking is the controversial process of horizontal drilling (see fig. 1), where millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals are pumped deep into an oil well to extract natural gas from the earth’s crust (Ehrenberg 20). This practice has even been banned in some places (see fig. 1). The methane that comes out of the earth and the water used—called fracking fluid—has the potential to cause problems with local ground water supplies. Whether or not fracking is the cause of these problems, concern should be observed during the fracking process to reduce the chances of water contamination among residential areas.
While methane is not a rare contaminant in drinking water wells, the fracking process seems to allow more methane to seep into the wells. A study headed by Duke University’s Robert B. Jackson, a professor of Environmental Sciences, shows that in Pennsylvania, drinking water wells within one kilometer of fracking sites contain nearly six times more methane than in wells farther away (Banerjee). Methane, no matter where it is contained, is flammable, thereby posing a risk for explosion, which is not good for homes. Reports show that a fracking site in Dimock, Pennsylvania caused methane to leak into a water well, where it detonated, leading to even further contamination of other water wells and homes (Henheffer 30). The domino effect presented here raises fear in critics of fracking, who seek only to stop the process from happen- ing. Jackson, who coauthored a study done about fracking and methane leaks, proposes four possibilities ...

... middle of paper ... deposits of shale gas that could one day….” Maclean’s 123.29/30 (2010): 56. eLibrary.
Web. 29. Nov. 2013.
“Hydrofracking.” Issues and Controversies. Facts on File News Services. 31. Oct. 2011. Web.
30 Nov. 2013.
FRACKING DANGERS.” Inter Press Service English News Wire. 08 Aug. 2013. eLibrary. Web. 29 Nov. 2013.
Reser, Rebecca Jo “State and Federal Statutory and Regulatory Treatment of Hydraulic
Fracturing.” Defense Counsel Journal 80.1 (2013): 90. eLibrary. Web. 30 Nov. 2013.
“Should fracking stop?.” Nature (2011). eLibrary. Web. 29 Nov. 2013.
Skirble, Rosanne “Study: No Evidence Hydraulic Fracturing Pollutes Water.” Voice of America
News/FIND. 22 Feb. 2012. eLibrary. Web. 29 Nov. 2013.
Staff. NEWMEX FRACKING. Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service. 30 May 2013. eLibrary.
Web. 01 Dec. 2013.

More about Fracking: The Water Problem

Open Document