Impact of Fracking on Water | VideoRetha Colclasure | 2/21/2012
Kathleen Neset, like many landowners in the heart of the oil fields, is concerned about the safety of her drinking water. But unlike other landowners, she`s a geologist and says that helps her better understand what is going on. She shared that message with the Bismarck Mandan Development Association this afternoon.
Oil isn`t anything new to Neset or the land near Tioga she`s called home for more than three decades. "I`m on land that was explored in the first oil boom in the 50s. So we`re right in the heart of the Bakken drilling. This is near and dear to me like it is to other North Dakotans."
She depends on rural water, and says she`s as concerned about the safety of her water supply as anyone else, but she doesn`t see fracking as a threat.
"Our surface aquifers are in the top 2,000 feet of the drilling area. That is all protected from the drilling process, because we drill the surface with fresh water. We case it, cement it, seal it off. Where we frack is down at 10,000 feet vertical depth."
That means there`s 8,000 feet, or more than 22 football fields, between the frack fluid and any water it might otherwise come in contact with.
"All these things are so important that we understand them, and stay educated, and also act as our own advocates to protect our resources."
She says there are legitimate concerns about fracking, especially in areas without that much separation between fracking fluids and aquifers, but says each state where fracking is going on needs to do their own due diligence in regulating the industry.
Neset says there`s probably a greater concern about accidents with trucks hauling fracking fluid on the surface than there is about accidents underground.