Monday, April 01, 2013

What Could Go Wrong

If we get through the next couple of years without completely destroying the water supply in much of the country it will be a miracle.

Wastewater disposal wells like this one are becoming a common landmark in the drilling regions of Texas as the water-intensive practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, continues to spread. In the fracking process, several million gallons of water, combined with sand and chemicals, are sent down a well to break up rock and retrieve oil and gas. Some of the fluid comes back up, along with additional underground water.

Most of this wastewater is trucked to disposal wells and injected thousands of feet underground for permanent storage. But those wells have caused concern about truck traffic, accidents and the possibility for spills and groundwater contamination.