Shale gas

Fracking and your water supply here in the North West.

Reserves of shale gas have been identified across swathes of the UK, particularly in the North of England. To get the gas out of the ground the process of fracking is used. However, no fracking is currently taking place in the North West of England.

The extensive use of fracking in the United States, where it has revolutionised the energy industry, has prompted a debate around environmental concerns related to water here in the United Kingdom.

The first concern is that fracking uses huge amounts of water. The second is the worry that potentially carcinogenic chemicals used may escape and contaminate groundwater supplies. Finally queries have been raised on how flowback is treated and returned safely to watercourses.

At United Utilities we take our role to protect and enhance the environment seriously. Here we outline our current position and approach to shale gas operations and the role we would play as a regulated water company, if asked by any operator, to supply water or treat flowback.

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