Sustainable Tourism at USF

Fracking and its impact on water



CBS This Morning focused on a story related to the process known as fracking. Fracking is considered safer than oil drilling by many, especially those in government. The truth of the matter is the process includes a questionable process. First, fracking uses large amounts of water to extract gas. The process also requires sand and a chemical substance that is said to be safe for use. With that said, many question the validity of that statement. Many in communities that have fracking are questioning what ingredients are being mixed into the chemicals for fracking. Companies who are conducting the fracking process are keeping 10 percent of the chemicals used secret per the EPA (Banerjee, 2015). Many in favor and those in opposition of fracking are questioning why 10 percent of the chemical formula is not being released to the public.

I mention this because when the fracking process starts, sand, water, and that chemical formula is injected into the well by drilling, which releases the gas. Here is where the environmental threats and issues rise from. As mentioned prior, water and lots of it must be used in the process of fracking. Many times this water must travel many miles, which is being transported by truck. The trucks traveling many miles are producing its own environmental impact by producing emission gasses in the transportation process. Another issue comes at the expense of the chemical that is used, many believe the chemicals are leaking into the fresh water supply. Concerns of chemical spills and the water impacting the soil from leaks among the pipe system are threats to our environment.

Those who run the fracking process assure everyone it’s a safe process, but have yet to share the 10 percent hidden formula that goes into the process. In a University of Duke research study, evidence of water and soil contamination were found in North Dakota (Vengosh, Lauer, & Harkness, 2016). One of the researchers was quoted as saying “Unlike spilled oil, which starts to break down in soil, these spilled brines consist of inorganic chemicals, metals, and salts that are resistant to biodegradation” (Vengosh et al., 2016).

Which leads us to the CBS This Morning segment. Which visited a family's home, which required a 30,000 dollar filtration system in her home. The family believes once fracking was done in her community, she began experiencing health concerns when drinking the water. The family had the water tested, which found chemical levels to be higher than recommended by the EPA. With the filter system installed, the family still cannot drink the water.

Original story aired on CBS This Morning on 20th of December, 2016:

Work Cited:

Banerjee, N. B. (2015, March 2). Can Fracking Pollute Drinking Water? Don’t Ask the EPA. Retrieved from

Vengosh, A., Lauer, N., & Harkness, J. (2016). Contamination in North Dakota Linked to Fracking Spills | Nicholas School. Environmental Science & Technology.



Rivera, E. (2017). Fracking and its impact on water. Retrieved from


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Rong Wang wrote: 02-01-2017 16:17:08

Thanks for sharing this article. Natural gas is known as clean fuel, but the development process is very dirty. Contaminants can be dangerous if they are released into the environment or exposed to personnel.They may lead to depletion of oxygen or algal blooms and destruction of ecosystems.Or react with a disinfectant in a drinking water treatment plant to form carcinogenic chemicals.

Scott Sanders wrote: 01-28-2017 14:56:02

Great choice of article, Emmanuel. It's hard to fathom that so many states don't require oil companies to tell them when and where they are fracking. This seems incredible irresponsible by both parties, especially considering the fact that the overall effects that this is having on the environment is still unknown. With the Colorado river already being drained of much of it's water supply by many of the western states, this will only intensify the effects of pollution caused by this fracking.