Fracking is a method of extracting natural deposits such as oil and gas from rock deep within the ground.
Now that people have access to more gas and oil deposits, they no longer have to depend on other countries. Instead, they can rely on themselves to provide energy for their residents. But Hydraulic fracking has increased concern about the environmental impacts.
When you hear about hydraulic fracking, the first question that might come into your mind is, how does fracking affect the environment? This process can cause air pollution, water contamination, and noise pollution.
Continue reading and get more information about how fracking impacts the environment.
So, How Does Fracking Affect The Environment?
As you are aware, fracking is an efficient way of accessing oil and gas from underground rock. But the extraction method can cause issues of pollution.
Here are 5 ways that fracking affects the environment.
1. Water pollution
Fracking can cause water contamination. The liquid injected into the underground to cause minor fractures of the rocks contains chemicals that are likely to be absorbed into the underground water, thus, causing contamination.
Besides, the water used during fracking is supposed to be extracted. But instead of rising to the surface, it may find its way through the ground to the water bodies. And because the water contains chemicals, it can affect marine creatures and plants. Also, if you consume the water, you are likely to have health issues.
2. Air pollution
The method of fracking releases harmful gases such as benzene and methane. These gases are air pollutants that increase the risk of cancer, asthma, and respiratory illness.
Besides, the components released in the well site can affect those living nearby. They can encounter issues such as irritation of the eyes and throat.
3. Noise pollution and invisibility
If you live in the city, you understand how noisy the place is. Imagine being in a place where heavy trucks come frequently? It can be an uncomfortable area to live in. The same case happens to people living near the fracking site.
The heavy and noisy trucks that bring materials to the site and carry oil and gas can disturb those nearby. Besides, fracking produces nitrogen oxide and other organic compounds, leading to smog formation. This makes light pollution a big issue for people living in the area.
4. Water wastage
The process of fracking uses a lot of water. And because there are many active natural gas wells globally, billions of gallons of water are being used. This reduces the amount of water in the rivers and lakes.
5. Global warming
Burning coal and oil is the major contributor to carbon dioxide emissions. But also burning of gas releases small amounts of CO2.
So, what will happen if you fail to rely on cleaner energy sources? You’ll be adding the number of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, which can lead to global warming.
Global warming can result in high temperatures, causing droughts and storms. Also, it can lead to air pollution, which can affect your health. In this case, it is vital to go for alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower.
FAQs on Fracking and Its Impact on the Environment
What is fracking, and why is it bad?
There are many benefits of fracking, and one of them is increasing the production of oil and gas. This method involves drilling deep into the ground and injecting a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals to cause minor fractures into the rocks.
Unfortunately, the oil and gas can leak, which can contaminate groundwater. Thus, the polluted water can put agricultural projects, recreational economies, and aquatic life at risk. Besides, this process uses a lot of water, which means that there will be less water for human consumption, wildlife, and fish.
What can you do to prevent pollution from fracking?
Fracking allows people to access more gas and oil. However, it produces large amounts of harmful gases such as methane. When released into the atmosphere, methane causes global climate change.
Because of this, implement tips that can reduce pollution. And the only way to achieve this is by opting for renewable sources of energy. You can go for clean energy sources such as:
What are the approaches that can make fracking cleaner?
As you know, fracking causes water, noise, and air pollution. All these can impact weather changes, human health, and marine life. While it is advisable to consider alternative energy sources, there are methods you can implement to make fracking cleaner.
Here are 4 approaches for a cleaner fracking process
1. Use water efficiency fracking systems
2. Recycle water to conserve fresh water and reduce water pollution
3. Use equipment that uses renewable sources of energy instead of diesel-powered
4. Reduce methane leaks by using an infrared camera to detect leaks
How can you dispose of fracking wastewater?
Most of the fracking wastewater ends up in the water bodies. This can affect aquatic animals, plants, and human beings. Hence, it would be best to learn how to dispose of the wastewater.
You can implement strategies such as:
2. Treatment of the wastewater
3. Underground injection
4. Storage in open-air pits
Now, you have the answer to how does fracking affect the environment. As you know, fracking makes it easy to access gas and oil. This can hold you from exploring renewable sources of energy. With this, you will rely on fossil fuel which can harm the planet.
Although the anti-fracking procedures are growing each day, there are many ways you can get involved. For instance, you can consider renewable energy sources instead of gas or oil. Besides, you can minimize your consumption of natural gas or oil.
For example, you can opt for an electric car or rely on bike or public transportation. Besides, you can contact your local government representative if you live in an area where fracking is performed. With this, they can ban the practice of fracking to avoid pollution.