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Report Highlights Threat of Fracking to Water Reserves

Posted on: August 9th, 2012 by admin No Comments

Report on Fracking

A new report has laid bare the dangers that the fracking industry poses to water in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Stony Brook University in New York carried out an investigation into contaminated wastewater from hydraulic fracturing wells producing natural gas.

Induced hydraulic fracturing is used to release petroleum, natural gas (including shale gas, tight gas and coal seam gas), or other substances for extraction.

This process, known as fracking, is seen by some as a vital source of renewable energy, but by others as a huge threat to the state of pure water the world over as it creates a substantial amount of wastewater.

Fracking involves pumping fluids underground into shale formations to release pockets of natural gas that are then pumped to the surface.

The concern is that fractured fluids migrate through underground fractures into drinking water with petroleum, gas and its associated chemicals proving highly harmful to humans when ingested.

The report says that even in the best case scenario wastewater disposal from an individual well would potentially release 202 m3 of contaminated fluids.

The problem requires additional safeguards from the water industry to prevent radon, radium and other radioactive materials from finding their way into drinking water.

As a result, regulators and other authorities should consider additional mandatory steps to reduce the potential of drinking water contamination from salts and naturally occurring radioactive materials, such as uranium, radium and radon from the rapidly expanding fracking industry, according to the report.

The new findings and recommendations come amid significant controversy over the benefits and environmental risks associated with fracking. The practice, which involves pumping fluids underground into shale formations to release pockets of natural gas that are then pumped to the surface, creates jobs and promotes energy independence, but also produces a substantial amount of wastewater.

In May, Chevron and ExxonMobil shareholders filed proposals asking the companies to disclose risks to their operations and finances from hydraulic fracturing. But fracking has also had major consequences in the UK. In spring 2012 one of the first fracking operations in England caused two earthquakes at Preese Hall, close to Blackpool. The earthquakes measured 2.3 and 1.5 on the Richter scale.

Blackpool fracking earthquake

Fracking caused an earthquake near Blackpool, UK.

Doreen Stopforth from Lancashire voiced her concerns to The Guardian. “For us, personally, it’s a nightmare. They go for miles underground breaking the shale and then we found out that the backflow – the chemicals and the water that comes out – is only 25% of what they put in. Where is it going? They say it won’t leak into the aquifer – how do they know? I just don’t trust them. What do they leave behind? We don’t know if the land is going to be soured.”

If you are worried about the quality of your drinking water, book a free water test with Aquatec today. We have a water purification process which is unique to the brand and creates water so sure that even a new born baby could drink it.

For more on Fracking and Water.

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London 2012 Olympics are Greenest Games Ever

Posted on: July 31st, 2012 by admin 1 Comment

The London 2012 Olympics is calling itself the ‘greenest games ever’ after it emerged that the athletes are using recycled water.

In an effort to cut the water usage at Olympic Park by more than half, the water that is used to water plants and flush toilets is all recycled. A special purpose built system is turning sewage into pure water and so massively cutting down on resources and energy costs.

In stark contrast to the Beijing Games, London has had to make some large cost concessions due to the economic recession that has since gripped the world.

The main source for water in Olympic Park is the £7 million Old Ford Blackwater recycling plant. Having cost Thames Water £7 million to set up, it produces 574,000 litres of non-potable water a day from north London sewage.

Recycled water at Olympic Park

Could London 2012 be the greenest games ever?

That is enough for 80,000 toilet flushes, and enough to sustain the Olympic athletes. It is also using a dual supply network to avoid using intensively treated drinking water where it is not needed.

The head of innovation for Thames Water, Rupert Kruger, said: “It is amazing to think the elite athletes of the world are using recycled sewage, sent down U-bends at homes in north London just a day or so earlier, to flush loos at the greatest sporting event on earth.”

Meanwhile the UK water minister Richard Benyon said such water treatment projects had a crucial role to play in creating the greenest games ever. By using blackwater, which is safely recycled, the Old Ford plant is only using fresh water where it is absolutely necessary and creating a sustainable water supply for the future.

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Pharmaceuticals and Drinking Water

Posted on: July 27th, 2012 by admin No Comments

The pharmaceutical industry contributes around £8.4 billion to the UK economy but there are potential health side effects which go unaccounted for.

A 100 page statement commissioned by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) in 2008 revealed that pharmaceuticals are finding their way into the water supply despite extensive water purification treatment.

These drugs include tiny traces of cancer treatment drugs and birth control drugs among many other active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The report observed: “The observed concentrations of pharmaceuticals in raw waste water indicate that the major source of pharmaceuticals to the environment is via sewage treatment works effluent.
“Drinking water treatment works use a wider and technically more advanced range of processes, but again these are not specifically designed to remove pharmaceuticals and several compounds have been reported in drinking water.”

pharmaceuticals in drinking water

Are pharmaceuticals finding their way into drinking water?

Since then a more recent 2010 report has defined the risk to the populace as negligible.

“All of the research and monitoring by water companies means that the public can be confident that pharmaceutical residues such as components of the birth control pill are not present in tap water.”

As yet extensive studies have been unable to prove, one way or another, that such small quantities of these drugs have any affect when ingested. However studies of fish have proved another matter with the drug lincomycin found to act as a mutagen, actually changing the genes within microscopic aquatic life including algae, bacteria and fish.

If you are worried about the quality of your drinking water, book a free water test with Aquatec today. We have a water purification process which is unique to the brand and creates water so pure that even a new born baby could drink it.

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Water the Most Prized Commodity

Posted on: July 24th, 2012 by admin No Comments

Gradually water is becoming one of the most prized commodities on earth.

The water purification industry in the US alone was worth $170 billion in 2010.

It is staggering to think that there are currently more people in the world who have mobile phones than have access to clean drinking water.

In fact the dual threats of climate change and water contamination (due to chemicals created by industry and improper sewage disposal) are combining to drive up the price of water and water purification.

water purification industry

Water bills are constantly rising, and the bottled water market is booming, even despite the disproportionate environmental cost of creating a bottle that is used for a few hours, but lasts for a few hundred years. In fact plastic does eventually break up in warm ocean water, but it only breaks up into chemicals and toxins that are harmful to both humans and animals.

And the problem is only going to get worse with the world’s population expected to grow uncontrollably over the next few decades. Between 1999 and 2011 the population increased by one billion people.

So we must plan to conserve energy and water in every way possible and one of the best ways to make your water do more for you is to purify it. Purified water is more efficient for washing, and healthier for cooking and drinking.

If you are worried about the quality of the water coming out of your taps, or you live in an area of hard water, contact the water purification experts at Aquatec today and see how a free water test could benefit you and your family.

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