Effect on drinking water sources and health

Fracking has had multiple reported dangers, especially to water sources and health. One of the major concern is water contamination and various reports have confirmed that contamination is a growing issue.

The Associated Press released a report that fracking has increased arsenic levels in Texas, cancerous benzene in Colorado groundwater, and toxic chemical compounds in Canada (Rushton). This is concerning and can lead to dire effects to the environment and the two individuals in effected areas. Another concern is what these toxins and pollutants can do in the future. There is no way to know the long term effects of fracking pollutants on groundwater.

Another big concern with fracking is water shortages as the process requires significant amounts of water. Texas and Colorado have reported water shortages. The US Environmental Protection Agency reports that up to 140 billion gallons of water are used for fracking every year (Rushton). Of the water put in, only 30% (42 billion gallons) of the water input is returned (Ng). In areas already experiencing droughts, fracking only makes the water shortages worse.

In addition, fracking also threatened drinking water and human health. Areas with large amount of HVHF wells are usually rural and undeveloped region, where infrastructure are lacking. As a result, when construct HVHF wells, land clearing and road paving are needed. The construction of HVHF wells lead to large area of vegetation been removed, the construction of dirty road and the precipitation in the construction area can contribute to turbidity increase in the water source nearby (Mrdjen & Lee, 2016). This will cause issue with drinking water because the sediment and the eroded soil produced by HVHF wells will increase the survival rate of pathogens, such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

These turbid water not only threatened drinking water quality and human health, but also increase the difficulty of initial treatment of water because soil particles in the water can shield microbes, and thus increase the risk of wastewater pollution (Mrdjen &Lee, 2016).




Mrdjen,I. & Lee, J.Y. (2016). High volume hydraulic fracturing operations: potential impacts on surface water and human health, International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 26:4, 361-380, DOI: 10.1080/09603123.2015.1111314

Ng, Carol. “The Dangers of Fracking.” (n.d.): n. pag. University of Pittsburgh. University of Pittsburgh, Swanson School of Engineering, 9 Oct. 2012. Web. 4 Oct. 2016. <http://www.pitt.edu/~cyn2/Writing_Assignment_3.pdf>.

Rushton, Steve. Contributoria. There Are Alternatives to Fracking: August 2014:. Contributoria, Aug. 2014. Web. 4 Oct. 2016.<http://www.contributoria.com/issue/2014-08/5392eccaf461286f4f00012b/>

Water Contamination, Unknown Possibilities?

Water Contamination, Unknown Possibilities?