Wastewater Disposal Pits – Do they leak? (Of course)

Pits are holes. Frackers dig them to store stuff, most of which you wouldn’t want to drink. So what is a pit?

Pits are used to store drilling fluids and to dispose of wastes generated by drilling operations. Drilling fluids contain toxic materials such as arsenic, mercury, lead, and other toxins. Wastes can contain all those, plus  radioactive materials and contaminated water that cannot be cleaned by waste disposal sites.

So you would think that the pits would be built to keep this stuff away our water supply, right? What if your pit was separated from your water supply by a thin sheet of plastic, like several layers of garbage bags you use to throw away your leaves? Would you feel safe? Ever rip one of those bags?

The thickness of the liner varies from state-to-state. Colorado, for instance, requires a 60 mil liner, about 2.5 inches thick, while Virginia requires a liner of 10 mil (less than 1/2 an inch), about the size of your index finger.

Where would you feel safer, in Colorado or Virginia? A leak in one of these pits is far more serious than a swimming pool leak. Do you think the 10 mil liner will withstand an earthquake? Will it protect the aquifer for 10 years? 15? 30 years? Are you willing to gamble your water supply on it? Your legislators and the Department of Environmental Quality have made that decision for you. What do you think? For more information see: Stronger Report 2015 Guidelines-Pits

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