Local Water Engineer explains risks of contamination and a little bit of chemistry

In this interview a water engineer who lives a mile from Crawberry Hill well site, with many years experience of water treatment in the oil industry, explains the risks of water contamination and air pollution, and why he thinks fracking shouldn’t be considered in the UK at all.

Short version (9mins)

Full version (25 mins).


Freshwater Habitats Trust is against fracking

Fracking-FHT-policy-Nov-15Based on current evidence, Freshwater Habitats Trust is against the advent of shale fracking and other forms of unconventional gas exploitation in the UK. This is because:

  1. Climate change is one of the major national and world-wide threats to freshwater habitats. Fracking maintains our reliance on fossil fuels and risks additional release of methane to the atmosphere at a time when the UK is pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Fracking results in increased local and regional risks to freshwater habitats through abstraction, land take and pollution. Given insufficient information and much controversy about the level of some of these risks, the precautionary principle is to avoid fracking until better data, over longer timescales, are available.
  3. Based on current evidence of freshwater habitat protection in the UK, we have insufficient confidence that, should a fracking industry begin, there will be adequate monitoring or mitigation of the impacts on freshwater habitats.

Policy Position Statement: Fracking – Freshwater Habitats Trust


Scientific Paper

water paper THMsThe disposal and leaks of hydraulic fracturing wastewater to the environment pose human health risks

This paper is rather technical, but basically refers to high levels of tri-halo methanes in water supplies as a result of contamination from fracking.

This is exactly the concerns that Peter talked about in the video above.


Groundwater Source Protection Zones

Groundwater Source Protection Zones (SPZ) are defined around points where water is extracted from wells, for example for our drinking water supply.

water protection zones map EY

Groundwater protection zones in East Yorkshire. Red – Inner Zone (SPZ1); green – Outer Zone (SPZ2); blue – total catchment (SPZ3). Click for interactive map on the EA website.

Groundwater protection: Principles and practice (GP3) - by the EA.

The EA policy is set out in Groundwater protection: Principles and practice (GP3).

The EA states that it, “will object to [unconventional] extraction infrastructure or activity within [the Inner Zone] SPZ1”.  This is the same as for conventional oil and gas.

However they might not object to a well site in the Outer Zone, and state that, “Where development does proceed, we expect best available techniques to protect groundwater to be applied”.

Crawberry Hill wellsite near Beverley, for example, was allowed even though it’s within the catchment area, and less than a kilometre and a half from the Outer Zone.