posted on Sep, 8 2003 @ 07:08 PM
Well..... Yes and No...
Environmentalists say that could put drinking water at risk, and they want federal officials to have regulatory power to prevent problems and step
in if water is contaminated. Alabama residents say the technique, called hydraulic fracturing, fouled drinking-water wells and unleashed a stench in
No, in that the water table that underlies petroleum producing zones is generally too deep for water production, and generally is of low water
quality, and therefore shallower aquifers are usually exploited for drinking water supplies. Also, because most petroleum producing zones are
contained and separated from the shallower drinking water aquifers by a seal or aquatard (a non-pourous, non-permeable layer of rock that contains the
petroleum), and therefore it doent present an environmental concern to drinking water supplies. (After all, you are just injecting petroleum into the
petroleum zone anyway)
On the downside, in some areas, there are no other shallow aquifers available, and the only choice is to drill to the deep aquifer that underlies the
petroleum zones. In these cases, it is advisable to drill very deep beyond the petroleum zone.
In these cases, hydraulic fracturing may overinject petroleum into the deeper aquifer layers, potentially contaminating groundwater supplies. Also,
during the fracturing, it may fracture the seal rock and open a pathway for contamination into shallower aquifers.