Groundwater Pollution

Fracking uses chemicals in the water which 'fractures' the rock, releasing the shale gas. This fracking fluid is at high risk of entering underground water (which we drink) and contaminating it, is this true?

A:

No. Only substances that are non-hazardous to groundwater may be used under EU and UK law, so even if there were a leak, it wouldn't pose a problem. The fracturing fluid proposed by Cuadrilla, for instance, is comprised of 99.95% water and sand, with just 0.05% chemicals, the greater majority of which is polyacrylamide, a non-hazardous polymer used as a friction reducer in this application but also used in drinking water treatment to remove suspended solids (read more about fracking chemicals here). It is very unlikely there will ever be a leak because of the way the wells are build and operated, with multiple barriers between the well and the environment. There is a low to negligible risk to groundwater.