MYTH #7: DEBUNKED “Fracking has never contaminated drinking water.”

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This should be easy to debunk as FFR themselves admit there is no problem. If a well is drilled badly, it can leak. If a well is not cemented properly, it can leak. If the local regulations do not require secure storage of fluids, this can cause pollution, and so on. Thats why it is great that the Royal Academy of Engineering have looked at these dodgy practices and regulations are based on their recommendations. The DECC+HSE have decades of experience of regulating drilling and understand the issues.

FFR's dodgy 'Mythbuster states 'This can be caused by leaking wells, chemical spills, blowouts, flood damage, waste water disposal and underground migration of methane and other toxic chemicals.' and 'Cases of drinking water contaminated by drilling activities, as well as waste disposal, are now proven. They even state 'this defence often relies on a very narrow definition of fracking'.  

Exactly! Thankyou FFR, for confirming that the few pollution incidents that have occured were NOT DUE TO FRACKING but were due to other activities!


Fracking has a massive database of evidence that shows that fracking itself has NEVER polluted any aquifer. It has all been poor drilling practice and regulation such as 

  • Open unlined drilling pits (Not permitted in the UK)
  • Open venting of gases (Not permitted in the UK)
  • Poorly cemented wells (Highly unlikely under UK HSE regulations, and anyway this can be fixed)
  • Dumping flowback fluids in rivers.
  • Truck accidents etc


BUT those issues noted by FFR are unlikely to occur in the tightly regulated UK. 

Aquifer contamination.(from Myth #3).

There is no record or evidence of any subsidence, or water contamination, in 2.5 million frack jobs. The US Environmental Protection Agency investigated this, over a 5 year period, and reported in 2015. They found ZERO evidence of contamination due to the fracking process ever having  happened.  They announced that


'Assessment shows hydraulic fracturing activities have not led to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources.

The EPA did identify some of the causes of the small, but well publicised incidents of reported contamination, but these are all related to poor drilling practices that are not permitted in the UK;

  • water withdrawals in areas with low water availability;

  • hydraulic fracturing conducted directly into formations containing drinking water resources;

  • inadequately cased or cemented wells resulting in below ground migration of gases and liquids;

  • inadequately treated wastewater discharged into drinking water resources;

  • spills of hydraulic fluids and hydraulic fracturing wastewater, including flowback and produced water.


Recently a study from Stanford University has raised worrying headlines. However this is simply restating the poor practice that has caused serious issues in a states that have

  • no regulations on what depth to frack at,
  • permit fluids containing toxic materials onto the ground
  • do not cement wells properly and use single layers of casing

Its human nature to classify the reasons for problems. Tragically there are around 1700 deaths a year in the UK on the roads. Are there all due to drunk drivers? or young drivers? or mechanical failure, or falling asleep? Or maybe a combination of the above?


The anti frack movement want to include every mishap and example of poor practice and blame it on a totally safe and well researched process. The processes that have caused these problems are all NOT PERMITTED IN THE UK!


It also seems rather daft to go on so much about water supplies when 99% of the UK get their water from public utilities, that are required by UK and EU law to provide potable water.

It also seems daft to worry about 'toxic chemicals' when these are also not permitted in the UK.  


Click this link for the next Myth debunking 'Shale gas as a bridge fuel'?



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