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Study Unveils Natural Gas Drilling Waste in Waterways

Most citizens assume agencies are being as careful and responsible as possible when it comes to waterways and water sources and what they are letting in them. Too many times in the past corporations and agencies have either accidentally or quietly disposed of waste into natural waterways. In today’s age, we have too many scientifically advanced methods of caring for our water too let it slip. We can protect our drinking water sources while continuing to pursue advanced experiments.

In one online article we read, Pennsylvania has quite a situation in front of them. The state is at the forefront of the natural gas rush and has recently increased drilling. There is a harsh by-product as a result – a wastewater extremely salty and so polluted with barium and strontium that usually it gets sent down thousands of feet into the earth. This hasn’t happened in Pennsylvania, and instead, the liquid is only partially treated for these substances and are dumped into local rivers and streams. It could potentially be environmentally harmful and these are the very natural water sources where residents get their drinking water. Pennsylvania is the only state who allows this disposal and from hydraulic fracturing or fracking. And with new regulations in place for newer drillers, existing operations continue to be allowed. While the Environmental Protection Agency has begun to look into the matter, residents have to deal with brine leaking into their drinking water and potentially harmful contaminants invading their once-safe water.

Other states have been making similar changes – some to protect residents and others to protect operations. Most of the larger corporations state that they are eliminating most of the waste, but if history repeats itself, we may find more contaminants than we want in the water sources. According to the article, “Fracking involves injecting millions of gallons of water mixed with chemicals and sand deep into the rock, shattering the shale and releasing the gas trapped inside. When the gas comes to the surface, some of the water comes back, too, along with underground brine that exists naturally. It can be several times saltier than sea water and tainted with fracking chemicals, some of which can be carcinogenic if swallowed at high enough levels over time.”

With the potential risks and downfalls of fracking in Pennsylvania and several other states in the country, residents are beginning to find alternatives for protecting their family’s drinking water to eliminate potential risks. The top recommended way to keep your family’s drinking water safe is to look into a water treatment system like a reverse-osmosis system, water filters, or water coolers. Each has various benefits that are good for your water and are good for the environment. They are eco-friendly and affordable solutions to remove or provide safe, clean drinking water during times when you aren’t sure it is.