There is a lot in the news today about ‘Fracking’ with many differing opinions who are both for and against it. It’s had radio & TV coverage along with the the BBC publishing an article on it here.
Fracking is relatively new and untested so it’s hard to know the consequences of it could be, if any, but do we know that several of our customers, who are completely reliant on their borehole groundwater supply for drinking water, in the area of the Fracking test site are very worried about the potential it could have on their borehole water supply and the overall potential for contamination of groundwater.
What is Fracking?
Simply it is the process of drilling down deep into the earth and creating tiny explosions to shatter and crack hard shale rocks to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.
Why are borehole water users concerned?
Drilling down to carry out the Fracking technique means that the drilling company involved drills through the water table and through aquifer(s) (water bearing rocks). This is where borehole water supplies are derived from. People are concerned that the technique involved in drilling through the aquifer and that the Fracking technique itself can pollute the groundwater / aquifer water supplies that are used for a variety of things including drinking water.
Should groundwater and borehole water supply users be concerned?
This is very difficult to say at present. The BBC report suggests that groundwater and drinking water supplies in the US have been polluted by Fracking and that this is a major concern of those opposed to it here. However, most of our customers should not be concerned, most people are not anywhere near the location of the current test works or in areas where Fracking is possible.
Our first recommendation to any person who uses groundwater and a borehole water supply within the area of the Fracking test site would be to monitor the situation, their borehole water supply and borehole water quality very closely to ensure that should any problem occur that they area aware of it immediately. We would always recommend that this is good practice at all times anyway.
Secondly we are always happy to talk to any person about their water supply in general.
Thirdly, and lastly, the Environment Agency in England and Wales and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency in Scotland have the responsibility to of protecting controlled waters (fresh water, including groundwater) and we understand that the Environment Agency are regulating the Fracking test activities, amongst other government organisations, to ensure that controlled waters, including groundwater are protected. You can find the contact details for the Environment Agency on their website.
If you would like to get your borehole water supply checked, or to talk to us about your borehole in the Fracking test site area then please contact us.