Introduction To Fracking

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Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracking, is the process of natural gas extraction from shale (fine grained sedimentary rock) deep within the earth, and considered a relatively new process. Although the technique of fracking has been known since the 1940s, only in the recent decade has there been a fracking boom. The process of fracking begins with a vertically drilled well, which then turns ninety degrees and continues horizontally into the shale rock layer. A mix of several thousand tonnes of sand, around eight million litres of water, and two hundred thousand litres of various chemicals (known as fracking fluid) is then pumped at high pressures into the well to create fissures which the gas can use to escape. The sand is used to prevent the cracks from closing, the chemicals are used to compress the water, kill bacteria and dissolve the minerals. The natural gas that escapes is then drawn back up the well to the surface, where it is processed and shipped. After the fracking process is completed, wastewater, containing potentially toxic chemicals, returns to the surface. Once the gas source is exhausted, the wastewater is pumped back into the deep underground layers and the well is sealed. This article will address how fracking contributes to water pollution, and the resulting effects.
A study conducted by the International Journal of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment found that wastewater created by fracking contains potentially toxic chemicals, total dissolved solids, natural contaminants from the sedimentary rock, organic pollutants, and normally occurring radioactive material (NORM).
An average of seventy differ...

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...acking contribute to water pollution, it also produces the need for treatment of the contaminated water sources. As such, there is not only health impacts on humans, but also economical impacts as water treatment requires money, enough space, the right location and is also time consuming.
Hydraulic fracturing has many impacts on the freshwater sources used as drinking water supplies by humans. These effects include chemical contamination with chemicals such as benzene (a carcinogen). Due to his, fracking can be considered a leading cause of human fatalities, especially in urban areas with close proximity to drilling sites. As many of the impacts fracking has are negative, it can be concluded that fracking is not a sustainable practice in the long term, especially since gas reserves will eventually be exhausted and only the pollution created will remain.
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