Pipes Pulling Water From Trinity River For Fracking

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – While many North Texans are being asked to conserve water during a statewide drought, three large pipelines are pulling millions of gallons of water out of the Trinity River in Fort Worth, near West Seventh Street.

The pipelines cross over several roads and trails in Trinity River Park. They were put into place just days before water restrictions are expected to shut off sprinklers in Fort Worth, leaving lawns to dry out.

“They’re just like big straws,” explained nearby resident Don Young, who has seen these pipelines before. “They just suck water from the river or lake or wherever.”

Where are the pipelines taking the water? Follow them past raised sidewalk sections and roadway crossings and you will end up at a natural gas well located just outside of Trinity River Park, operated by Chesapeake Energy.

According to the Trinity River Water District, the energy company is buying the water for fracking – three to four million gallons at double the wholesale rate.

There are currently no restrictions no how much water can be used by gas drillers, or any other commercial customers. “The fact of the matter is,” said Ed Ireland with the Barnett Shale Education Council, “these situations have been anticipated with state law that says here’s how you do it.”

During a water shortage, like Texas is seeing now, state statutes say that “the water to be distributed shall be divided among all customers … so that preference is given to no one and everyone suffers alike.”

The Trinity River Water District said that gas drilling accounts for only about one percent of their total water usage. Meanwhile, yard watering is estimated to use between 50 and 60 percent of what water is available.

However, critics argue, water used to saturate lawns makes its way back into the cycle to be used again very soon. This is not the case with fracking. “When gas drillers use water, it’s permanently removed from our cycle,” said Young. “There’s a finite amount of water on Planet Earth. Whenever you use it to frack, it has to go buried in the ground of a million years.”

The fracking at this Fort Worth site is expected to last about nine days. The city agreed to let the pipelines be laid across Trinity River Park as long as everything is cleaned up after the process is complete, and any damages are repaired.

More from Jason Allen

One Comment

  1. darrell says:

    these pipes run two directions. one carries water for fracking causing minor earthquakes and as a carrier for toxic waste the oil/gas companies no longer want that pollutes ground water forever. this generates money for the gas companies and lease holders. the other runs to the pockets of government and investors who also control the permits, rules, and land usage, usually in spite of the publics disapproval.
    moral of the story is: follow the money

  2. Land says:

    Goodbye water! Gone forever! Good thing we’re all Christians so we got o heaven when the gas companies destroy the earth! Yay!

  3. Landman says:

    I guess if you’re really against the oil and gas companies, then you need to put your money where your mouth is and stop using their products. It’s funny how poeple will complain all day about oil company profits and environmental impact, but then they get back in their SUV’s and drive back to their mcmansions and continue to consume massive amounts of fossil fuels.

    1. Marc W. McCord says:

      Landman, as is so typicqal of oil and gas industry apologists, you assume that everybody drives an SUV, lives in a McMansion and uses inordinate amounts of ol and. That is a patently false claim, and you know it, but that does not stop you from making it.

      Here are the facts: Of all the water on earth only 3% is fresh water, only 0.3% is surface fresh water and 90% of ALL fresh water is in Antarctica. That means that about 0.3% of ALL fresh water (surface and subsurface) is scattered around the planet in places other than Antarctica.

      Water used for almost all purposes other than frac’ing is returned to the hydrologic cycle for re-use. Frac water is forever removed from the hydrologic cycle due to extreme contamination and pollution that cannot be cleaned by any known process, so it is injected deep into the Ellenberger formation causing earthquakes in the process.

      We have no choice about transportation and the fuels we use because there are no other alternatives. Statements about people and their driving habits are just stupid, but O&G indudstry people continue making them anyway because they think it is a “gotcha” on the rest of us. It is not. What the O&G industry is doing is criminal, and people like you need to face reality of what your industry is doing to the environment in the name of corporate profits. A day of reckoning IS coming fast, and you may not like the results!

      1. Marc W. McCord says:

        “… lives in a McMansion and uses inordinate amounts of ol and.: should have read “lives in a McMansion and uses inordinate amounts of oil and gas.”

        Sometimes the mind moves faster than the fingers. Sorry for the typo.

  4. chickie29 says:

    Aren’t the Cities, then, in violation of Section 11.039 of the Texas Statute when they restrict residential usage but not commercial accounts as well? It states, “so that preference is given to no one and everyone suffers alike.”

    I know for a fact that in my city the drillers are using more than 1% because I have the actual numbers from the water department. I wonder where Mr. Ireland is getting his figures from? hmmmm.

  5. Phillip says:

    They can do that Because ? There making Money for The Rich People who makes the Laws, That the rest of America lives by !

  6. ReallyJohn says:

    Landman, that’s why many are driving hybrids and electric vehicles. Why isn’t drillers finding a new way to recycle water? Or, find a new way to fracture or capture oil/gas without the use of water? As we speak Lake Bridgeport is 10ft below and if this current drought continues next year, everyone in DFW area will be in a severe water restrictions. And, that includes yourself.

  7. ozle says:

    remember the golden rule…

    the one with the money makes the rules..lol.

    how to change it..???no way.???.sorry.???.well.maybe one…term limits ..limits on $$ alowed for political office …accountability …transparency…

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE