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Hydraulic fracturing fluid

Hydraulic fracturing fluid is typically comprised of approximately 98 to 99.5 percent water and sand and 0.5 to 2 percent chemical additives.

Most of the chemical constituents that make up fracturing fluid additives can be found in common household items or in the food and drinks we consume. The chemicals in hydraulic fracturing fluid are used to reduce friction and protect the rock formation, thereby making the hydraulic fracturing process safer and more efficient.

The water used in the hydraulic fracturing process typically comes from surface or groundwater sources. Water is only required for a short period during the drilling process and does not represent a long-term commitment. Local geology, geography, hydrology and other factors shape water requirements for hydraulic fracturing, but the amount of freshwater required for drilling and fracking a typical horizontal well is usually equivalent to about three to six Olympic-size (50 meters by 25 meters) swimming pools. Thousands of horizontal gas wells have been drilled and completed in and near municipalities and the water use has not been found to impact water available for residential, municipal, agricultural or industrial users.

Multiple options exist for safe treatment, re-use and/or disposal of produced water.

You can find out more about hydraulic fracturing fluid chemical composition at the FracFocus website, a joint project of the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.

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