Wastewater in our Aquifer

Scientific American published an article in 2012 asking, 

Are Fracking Wastewater Wells Poisoning the Ground beneath Our Feet?

Spoiler alert, the answer is YES! Records from across the country have repeatedly shown that wells drilled to bury this waste deep beneath the ground have leaked. 

Key experts admit that that the idea that injection is safe rests on science that is not keeping up with reality, and that oversight doesn't always work.

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"In 10 to 100 years we are going to find out that most of our groundwater is polluted," said Mario Salazar, an engineer who worked for 25 years as a technical expert with the EPA's underground injection program in Washington. "A lot of people are going to get sick, and a lot of people may die."

The boom in oil and natural gas drilling is deepening the uncertainties, geologists acknowledge. Drilling produces copious amounts of waste, burdening regulators and demanding hundreds of additional disposal wells. Those wells — more holes punched in the ground — are changing the earth's geology, adding man-made fractures that allow water and waste to flow more freely.

"There is no certainty at all in any of this, and whoever tells you the opposite is not telling you the truth,' said Stefan Finsterle, a leading hydrogeologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who specializes in understanding the properties of rock layers and modeling how fluid flows through them. "You have changed the system with pressure and temperature and fracturing, so you don't know how it will behave."

A ProPublica review of well records, case histories and government summaries of more than 220,000 well inspections found that structural failures inside injection wells are routine. From late 2007 to late 2010, one well integrity violation was issued for every six deep injection wells examined — more than 17,000 violations nationally. More than 7,000 wells showed signs that their walls were leaking. Records also show wells are frequently operated in violation of safety regulations and under conditions that greatly increase the risk of fluid leakage and the threat of water contamination.

Read the entire article here: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-fracking-wastewater-wells-poisoning-ground-beneath-our-feeth/