reply to post by speculativeoptimist
The chemicals can be site specific, but usually remain the same--soaps to
reduce friction, some chems to stop rusting, and some to stop dangerous gases
from forming. And by minute amounts I am talking about 50 gals of chemicals
to 500,000 gallons of water. But to be fair, while that amount of chems may sound
innocuous to a laymen, a 1 in 50,000 ration of lysergic acid diethylamide
in drinking water would be catastrophic.
Still, IMO, these chems I deal with everyday ARE relatively innocuous when
compared to what can be found under the normal kitchen sink. The most
dangerous I deal with is called Biocide by Dupont, either granulated or liquid.
It's used to keep fresh water from souring. We use about a gallon for every 150
barrels of fresh water when at the customers request. If you get this stuff
on you it is caustic and will burn you in its pure form, but diluted it is as harmless
as chlorine in a swimming pool.
Now....to what I see as a potential threat...the waste water disposal.
(sorry if this gets to be long)
In the frac'ing process we push approx. 100 truckloads of water down the hole.
The water comes up mixed with the sand, and chems, and the naturally occurring
minerals and salts in the shale. No big deal IMO, water goes down, water comes
up--an equilibrium is achieved.
It is what we do with the waste water that gives me pause. Waste water is taken to
a waste water disposal, which essentially is another well site. Often a waste water
disposal will be an old well site that didn't produce, though usually they are drilled
for the purpose of waste disposal.
What bothers me is the IMMENSE amount of water that is pumped down these
holes TO STAY. No equilibrium achieved--just lakes and lakes of waste water
pumped into the ground sometimes only 7 or 8 thousand feet deep 1 1/2 miles.
What do I mean by immense amount?
One typical waste water disposal will handle 100 truckloads a day for many years.
I know one that has been active at around 50 truckloads a day for over twenty years.
Imagine one hundred truckloads a day for only one year. That's 540,000 gallons
a day, or about 300 Olympic sized swimming pools a year.
To me, that is the elephant in the room no one is talking about