Envireau Water has entered the debate before about the risks to drinking water supplies posed by hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’. The Water Online feature refers to USA practices and certainly in the UK Envireau Water is confident these risks are essentially none.
The first key reason for this is that the onshore gas industry in the UK is heavily regulated by the Environment Agency/NRW/SEPA/EA NI who will only issue licences and permits once they are satisfied any potential risks to the environment have been properly considered and adequately addressed. Secondly, Shale Gas reserves in the UK are deep, which means there is no chance of hydraulic connection between the reserves and useful groundwater used for drinking water, which is found at much shallower depth. Finally, the only realistic chance of pollution to groundwater from fracking is through well casing failure. In recognition of the severity of the potential impacts a well casing failure could have, the design and construction of shale gas wells is carefully regulated by the HSE and the Offshore Installations and Wells Regulations, making the risk of a catastrophic failure essentially zero.
Read the bulletin from Envireau Water Managing Director, James Dodds in our Envireau Knowledge section, which deals with this in more detail.