Fracking is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks, which releases the natural gas inside. There are more than 500,000 active natural gas wells in the United States.
Each gas well requires an average of 400 tanker trucks to carry water and supplies to and from the site. To complete each fracturing job, 1-8 million gallons of water is needed. The water brought to fracturing sites is mixed with sand and chemicals to create fracking fluid. Roughly 40,000 gallons of chemicals are used per fracturing. Up to 600 chemicals are used, including lead, mercury, methanol, radium, uranium, hydrochloric acid, ethylene glycol, and formaldehyde.
Fracking fluid is then pressure injected 10,000 feet into the ground through a drilled pipeline. The mixture reaches the end of the well where the high pressure causes the shale rock to crack, creating fissures where natural gas flows into the well.
During this process, methane gas and toxic chemicals leach out from the system and contaminate nearby groundwater. Methane concentrations are 17x higher in drinking water wells near fracturing sites than in normal wells. This contaminated well water is used for drinking water for nearby cities and towns. There have been over 1,000 documented cases of water contamination next to areas of gas drilling as well as cases of sensory, respiration, and neurological damage due to ingested contaminated water. Only 30-50% of fracturing fluid is recovered. The rest is left in the ground, and isn’t biodegradable.
Help support the FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act), which would require the energy industry to disclose ALL chemicals used in fracturing fluid, as well as repeal fracking’s exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Contact your elected officials by entering your zip code in the space provided to let them know where you stand on fracking.
Join or support your local organizations against fracking.