Tests indicate that fracking water taken from a shale gas well is easy to treat

24.02.2011

In a February 19 article in Le Soleil, Jean-François Cliche reports on tests carried out by the City of Trois-Rivières on fracking water from a shale gas well owned by gas company Talisman near Fortierville. The results indicate that the water “was not particularly difficult to treat.”

The tests, which involved some 30 parameters, were carried out in January. According to the article, as is often done to test water toxicity, trout and daphnia were placed for 10 days in untreated fracking water taken from one of 22 cisterns containing fracking water. The trout, which are known to be highly sensitive to pollution, survived, but the daphnia did not. The water processing technician from the City of Trois-Rivières stated that he didn’t know what exactly affected the daphnia more than the trout, but that the matter had to be looked into.

Cliche also reports that even before treatment, the levels of ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol found in the fracking water tested in Trois-Rivières met the standards for disposal into the environment. With regard to sulfates, nitrites/nitrates, benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylene, and barium, it even met the standards for potable water.”

The concentrations of oil and grease were high, however. Yet, as Cliche’s report points out, although the water contained a lot of grease, it was obviously clean enough, even before treatment, for trout to survive in it.

Cliche also posted an article on his blog providing further information on the subject. The blog follows scientific news and issues.