Editors’ Series: Investigating the Potential Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing on Private Well Water Quality
This event will take place on Thursday May 08, 2014 at 11:00 AM EDT.

The development of unconventional drilling practices — such as hydraulic fracturing —for harvesting natural gas has brought enormous geopolitical benefit for the United States in terms of greater energy independence and cleaner sources of fuel. Locked thousands of feet below the surface in shale formations, natural gas can be released and recovered through processes such as hydraulic fracturing. Yet while such unconventional drilling is being practiced in various forms across the United States, limited studies have been performed regarding the potential environmental impact of these activities and there is currently no governmental monitoring program for monitoring private well water quality. In response to this need, our team has developed a series of analytical methods (including headspace-GC, GC-MS, ICP-OES, ICP-MS, total organic carbon, and ion chromatography methods) to evaluate the quality of private well water in proximity to natural gas extraction sites. In our initial study (Fontenot et al., 2013), we reported the potential for indirect contamination of well water in North Texas from naturally occurring metals as a result of gas mining processes. Currently, we are expanding efforts across Texas to provide a clearer picture (including careful baseline monitoring of areas where mining has or will become prevalent) of potential water quality alterations. Our suite of analytical methods uniquely situates us to contribute a better understanding of the environmental impact of this economically important industrial process; the methods also help us to evaluate and develop novel water cleaning and mitigation techniques. This talk will report on the current status of our collective effort.

Moderator:

Laura Bush

Editorial Director
LCGC and Spectroscopy

Speaker:

Kevin A. Schug, Ph.D.

Associate Professor & Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington TX


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