Without having to engage in whether the chemicals do or don't pollute drinking water, it is clear that fracturing uses billions of gallons of water annually. The EPA estimates that it requires between 70-140 billion gallons of water per year. If it is 100 billion gallons (the mid-low estimate), that is the amount that 1,000,000 domestic households use over an entire year.
|Use it to water your grass! From Energy from Shale|
There is a pretty painted picture from the industry for the "slickwater" used- the mostly water and sand and the small percentages of chemical additives you see in everyday products (lipstick, ice cream... antifreeze and paint thinner!). But what you don't see is that these percentages are the minimum percentages used, that the chemicals are the best of the chemicals used, and that the water no longer resembles water at all- it is a viscous goop with toxic fumes. If the average well uses 4.7 million gallons of water, even 0.3% chemicals represents 11,000 pounds of chemicals. Some wells use almost a million pounds of chemicals and over 10 million gallons of water.
|They would touch anything in those days without protection. From USGS report|
|Fracturing slurry "flowback pit" from Time article on industrial pollution photos|
|Sprayer near Wyoming farmer's house.|