Environmental Engineering Technician: Hydrofracking sure to contaminate water

Hydrofracking sure to contaminate water by Paul Hetzler, environmental engineering technician with NYSDEC, December 13, 2011, Watertown Daily Times
There’s no such thing as a perfect well seal. Occasionally sooner, often later, well seals can and do fail, period. No confining layer is completely competent; all geologic strata leak to some extent. The fact that a less-transmissive layer lies between the drill zone and a well does not protect the well from contamination. A drinking water well is never in “solid” rock. If it were, it would be a dry hole in the ground. As water moves through joints, fissures and bedding planes into a well, so do contaminants. In fractured media such as shale, water follows preferential pathways, moving fast and far, miles per week in some cases.… Chemicals injected into the aquifer will persist for many lifetimes. When contamination occurs—and it will occur— we will all pay for it, regardless of where we live.

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