Fracking flowback could pollute groundwater with heavy metals

June 25, 2014 8:07 PM

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The chemical makeup of wastewater generated by “hydrofracking” could cause the release of tiny particles in soils that often strongly bind heavy metals and pollutants, exacerbating the environmental risks during accidental spills, Cornell Univ. researchers have found.

Previous research has shown 10 to 40% of the water and chemical solution mixture injected at high pressure into deep rock strata, surges back to the surface during well development. Scientists at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences studying the environmental impacts of this “flowback fluid”...

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