A recent study published in Environmental Science and Technology found “elevated levels of numerous metals and chemical compounds” from 550 groundwater samples collected from private and public supply water wells in Texas. The wells draw their water from aquifers throughout the 5,000 square miles Barnett shale formation of Texas. While the University of Texas Arlington (UTA) study did not directly attribute the contamination from hydraulic fracturing activities taking place in the area, the authors did conclude, “It is more likely that it (fracturing) has had an effect on water quality.[i]
Hydraulic Fracking - Is Drinking Water at Risk?
In the December 2014 issue of Water Online a white paper written by an associate professor and a graduate student from the University of Saskatchewan asks the following question about hyrdraulic fracturing or fracking, “Is drinking water at risk?”
There has been significant debate about the environmental impact of fracking, from erosion to earthquakes. The authors of the white paper describe fracking as a “double-edged sword.” On one side, the process permits the extraction of oil and natural gas reserves from low permeable organic shale formations and tight sand beds. On the other side, fracking carries environmental risks, including “groundwater and surface water contamination, land destruction, air pollution, geologic disruption, greenhouse emissions, and radiation.”
The US EPA hosted a technical workshop on analytical chemical methods for hydraulic fracturing on February 25th in Research Triangle Park, NC. The goal of these workshops is to gather together stakeholders, technical experts, and EPA representatives to get updates on the progress of the EPA’s testing with regards to hydraulic fracturing. It also serves as a forum to discuss best testing practices and methodologies for this area. Teledyne Tekmar was privileged to participate as a speaker and participant in the round table panel discussions that coincided with the workshop.
Tags: VOC, Teledyne Tekmar, Sample Preparation, Volatile Organic Compounds, drinking water, chromatography, Hydraulic Fracturing, Fracking, Analytical Instrumentation, Concentrator, Autosampler, Analyzer
Part of developing new and relevant applications is staying on top of current events, which can mean reading through a lot of news articles. The one topic we run into most often, especially recently here in Ohio, is hydraulic fracturing. Recently, the governor of Ohio announced increased fees for dumping wastewaters associated with hydraulic fracturing from out of state sources. All implications are that these drilling activities will have a national as well as global impact, as evident by this map of the shale gas plays in North America.