Fracking operations get uncomfortably close to drinking water, Stanford scientists find

By on August 21, 2014

Image: Hydraulic fracturing drill rig in Pennsylvania (Credit: Environmental Protection Agency)


A study by researchers at Stanford University finds that fracking operations get closer to drinking water sources than typically thought, according to Grist. This means that oil and gas companies are likely searching for natural gas at shallower depths underground.

Scientists looked at fracking activities near two geological formations in Wyoming for the investigation. And though they didn’t find current drinking water sources to be contaminated by fracking chemicals, they did find that some chemicals get uncomfortably close to freshwater aquifers.

While fracking often occurs miles below the Earth’s surface, researchers noted that it sometimes happens just thousands of feet underground. The shallowest fracking activity revealed in the study was taking place only 700 feet deep at a gas field near Pavillion, Wyo.

Image: Hydraulic fracturing drill rig in Pennsylvania (Credit: Environmental Protection Agency)

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