Texas Tech University

Fracking's problems go deeper than water pollution


June 19, 2015

Wired - Salty, chemical-laden fluid leaked for two hours before anyone from Vantage Energy let Arlington city officials knew there had been an accident at the hydraulic fracturing well next to the Baptist church. It would be another 22 hours before they plugged the leak. In that time, 42,800 gallons of polluted liquid would flow into the sewers and streams of this suburban city wedged between Dallas and Fort Worth.

Even when it isn't burbling unbidden to the surface (Arlington-like accidents are exceedingly rare), things like burning faucets in Pennsylvania show that injection isn't always permanent. In this case though, it would be wrong to focus on fracking's waste water disposal problem—a single barrel of oil produces ten barrels of waste water. "The appropriate response is to figure out better well casing and surface handling procedures for all oil and gas," writes Danny Reible, a chemical engineer at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, in an email.

Read the story here.