Hydraulic Fracturing ("Fracking") - 3 of 18

Hydraulic Fracturing ("Fracking") FAQs - 18 Found

How and where is the waste hydraulic fracturing fluid disposed?

Most of the water and additives used in hydraulic fracturing remain in the oil and gas formation being produced, deep underground. However, some of the fluid returns through the well to the surface after hydraulic fracturing is completed, and is referred to as flowback fluid.  Flowback fluid can be treated and reused to hydraulically fracture another well. Specialty companies operate water treatment facilities that have the ability to remove dissolved solids from flowback fluid so that it can be reused. In some cases the water is clean enough to meet regulatory standards and is discharged into local watersheds. Commonly, the flowback fluid is injected into geologic formations in wells permitted for the disposal of waste fluids.

More information on injection wells can be found at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Underground Injection Control Web site. There is more information about the potential for waste water injection to induce earthquakes in a Department of Interior news report and in these Frequently Asked Questions.



Learn more:

Visit the USGS Energy Resources Program main hydraulic fracturing page.

Science or Soundbite? Shale Gas, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Induced Earthquakes

Tags: Fracking, Hydraulic Fracturing, Oil and Gas Drilling