Recently Asked Questions

How much of the water used in horizontal hydrofracing is recovered?
If the frac job is done correctly, most, if not all, the volume of water used in hydrofracing is returned, but its composition changes over time as saline formation water begins to mix in with the frac water and is recovered with it. The time it takes to recover the frac water depends on whether there is enough gas to push the water out of the hole, or if the water needs to be pumped (initially) to get the gas to flow and carry out the rest. Generally it takes about two weeks to recover the volume of water initially injected; after that the water recovered is generally considered formation water.

How can homeowners protect their private well supplies?
Penn State has a bulletin Gas Well Drilling and Your Private Water Supply addressing this question.

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3 Responses to Recently Asked Questions

  1. brownsnout says:

    When Cornell Cooperative Extension is answering a “recently asked question”, who is answering, what is their expertise and where are they getting their information?

    Fortuna’s Rick Kesey recently said at a public meeting in Van Etten, NY that at their pilot Marcellus wells in Troy, PA they were recovering only about 40 percent of the frac fluids.

    Epsilon Energy’s vice president of exploration David Hines told the
    Wyoming County Press Examiner this January that about 10 percent of the water used during hydraulic fracturing by Epsilon Energy returns.

    If you can’t take the time to accurately research (and site) and answer a question, don’t publish it. If you continue to promote gossip as “facts” you misplace the trust people have placed in your agency and contribute to the confusion and fear of a public with out access to accurate information.

  2. Brian says:

    In the defense of Cornell – I have heard reported from drillers the return is in the range of 20 to 40 %.

  3. I have heard that the initial return is about 10% to 35 % and additional water returns over time. It is possible that some of the water gets trapped in the shale because of discontinous pockets of pore space or other physical conditions. If the fracturing penetrated the lower “calcareous” materials and assuming an acid was used – it is possible that some of the water went down deeper.

    1. Particpate in baseline testing that gas company is required to conduct.
    2. Make sure to document the static and dynamic water level of your well.
    3. Document the flow of water in spring and take photos.
    4. Consider having your own baseline testing completed by a certified laboratory following chain of custody.

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