Expect a wet holiday weekend across North Texas | Watches & Warnings | Radar | Traffic | Photos |

Arlington Water Used For Fracking In Grand Prairie

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas is dealing with a record statewide drought, and while residents and businesses are being asked to conserve water, Chesapeake Energy is using up millions of gallons for the fracking process at their gas drilling sites.

CBS 11 News has previously reported on two different locations in Fort Worth where this has been happening over the summer, and North Texans were angry to find out about the company’s use of water.

Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck is angry as well, because the latest case involves drinkable treated water from a fire hydrant in the southern part of Cluck’s city, near the intersection of Highway 360 and Sublett Road, close to Joe Pool Lake.

Jane Lynn noticed something peculiar about the gas drilling well near her south Arlington home. “I noticed that there was a meter and a hose hooked to the hydrant. And I talked to our gas well coordinator and he said what they were doing was sucking water out of the frac pond, then refilling the pond from the hydrant,” Lynn explained.

According to city sources, Chesapeake Energy has taken four million gallons of Arlington water from this particular site. “In a drought situation like we’re facing now,” Lynn said, “it bothers me to see drillers using such massive amounts of water as consumers are being asked to conserve.”

To make matters worse, those millions of gallons of Arlington water actually went over to neighboring Grand Prairie, where there are restrictions on using water for fracking. This is what got Cluck angry. “For you to come over here and take our water to Grand Prairie to frac a well, it’s unconscionable,” Cluck said. “And they’ll get a little fine. It’s not much. It has made me quite angry.”

Chesapeake Energy has spoken to Cluck, and told him that they believed using the water was not going to be a problem. In a written statement, the company said, “Chesapeake regrets its misunderstanding about water use from the pond. The water was metered and paid for, and no disrespect was intended by transporting it outside the Arlington city limits. Chesapeake has apologized to the City of Arlington and will willingly pay any fine imposed.”

Cluck is now considering tighter restrictions on the company’s operations in Arlington. “I need to get over the anger first,” he said. “Usually, you make a mistake when you take an action in anger, and I don’t want to do that.” He will talk to the Arlington City Council about the possibility of new water restrictions or gas drilling restrictions in the coming weeks.

More from Joel Thomas
  • Robert

    The author has no clue what it takes to get gas out of shale. It takes massive amounts of sand and water to make these wells commercial. Especially with $4 natural gas, many of these wells are barely economic. Oil and Gas companies would use a lot less water if they could. When the water comes back to surface, it costs the company money to dispose of it. People need to get educated. I do not particularly care for the gas company mentioned in the article, but spent 25 years of my life in the industry.

    • Marc

      Barely economical? The truth is that natural gas production is a losing proposition at a time when it costs about $10-11 per thousand cubic feet to get gas that then sells for less than $4 per thousand cubic feet, and it does not take a math wizard to figure that out.

      Only 3% of all the water on earth is fresh water – the rest is too salty to use for human, animal or plant consumption. Of the fresh water that is on earth 90% is in Antarctica, which means the other 10% is scattered across the planet.

      Barnett Shale gas wells require an average of 4.5 to 5 million gallons of fresh water for each and every frac job, and that water is permanently contaiminated and removed from our hydrologic cycle forever, which is why gas producers pay to pump it deep into the Ellenberger formation about 15-18,000 feet below the surface where they assure us that it can NEVER return to the surface to pollute our water tables or surface water.

      Here is a simple fact that most people SHOULD be abale to comprehend – not one single human, animal or plant can survive without fresh water. But, mankind lived on this rock for 200-400,000 years without ever using a drop of oil or burning a cubic foot of natural gas until around 1860. So, we know that we can live without oil and gas, but we cannot live without water.

      Amid the worst drought in recorded Texas history it is utterly senseless to allow drilling companies to use, contaminate and permanently remove millions of gallons of fresh water from our hydrologic cycle, which then further reduces the amount of water that falls as rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog or humidity to replenish our surface water resources and our aquifers.

      I invite anybody who believes that we can afford to use and contaminate this much fresh water to demonstrate their confidence in the natural gas production industry by drinking just one glass of “produced water” that flows back from a well bore. Every drop we use for drilling is one less drop we will have for drinking – FOREVER!

    • deeduke

      so what, the issue is wise use of resource, which is more important, having enough drinkable water for an entire population, or the profits of one company?

  • Resident

    This is all about respecting the community we are in. This is a poor example of Chesapeake respecting the community, They do it with using water, making noise the fine they are paying is just a part of the cost of doing business like a slap on the wrist

  • http://dallasforme.com/2011/09/arlington-water-used-for-fracking-in-grand-prairie/ Arlington Water Used For Fracking In Grand Prairie — Me and the Chicks

    […] residents are asked to conserve water, Chesapeake Energy is using millions of gallons for fracking. More from: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/0… PreviousPost […]

  • NiteNurse

    How about holding off until we get some decent rainfall.

  • Sarina

    This industry’s thirst goes beyond water. It just took water for everyone to see how ruthless they are. Everyone understands stealing “water.” The shale gas reservoir is under highly-populated areas…they thought they could get it done by paying off everyone and promising steady income down the road. No mention of the chemical poisoning for our families and pets that is a major part of that foolish journey.

  • WCGasette

    Mayor Cluck “laughs” as he says he needs to get over his “anger.” Is he really angry? That wasn’t a very convincing performance.

  • http://kimfeilgood.wordpress.com Kim Triolo Feil

    Cluck was “angry” on his interview last night …funny he was in my opinion only angry cause they got caught allowing this!!! How bout fire the employee that knew about this, yet informed Jane Lynn like it was “business as usual”?

    The new problem now is that if the truckers have to drive across town to get their reclaimed water…that will mean more diesel ladened “truck fracking traffic” which puts even more Benzen in our airshed.

    If Arlington will not man up to a moratorium during this drought, then they should build a series of pipelines to the other side of town for this ($2.50 per 1,000 gal) reclaimed water so the trucks don’t have to go get it.

    Reclaimed water only be used for fracking and should NOT be used to drill when first penetrating the aquifer which introduces the first contamination in our ground water. Hope they are getting this right.

    Then there is the problem with re-using water and having unknown, exponential toxicity levels!

  • http://kimfeilgood.wordpress.com Kim Triolo Feil

    Reclaimed water should only be used for fracking and should NOT be used to drill. Wen first penetrating the aquifer, they must use fresh water or else this reclaimed water introduces the first (round of) contamination in our ground water. When (not if) the casings fail, that is the second round of contamination. When the surface spills occur, that is the third risk of contamination. If the trucks wreck, then their road spills is the fourth opportunity for contamination. When the drilling water waste is disposed in the injection wells, then the risks start all over again with casing integrity and surface spills.

    Hope they are getting this right.

  • http://kimfeilgood.wordpress.com Kim Triolo Feil

    Using reclaimed water makes for guinea pigs we are.
    Having highly treated water to mix with unknown frack chemicals and then disturb the NORM and heavy metals down there and flow back up with all those BTEX hydrocarbons….nasty cancer causing stuff that should NOT BE IN RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS!

  • Liz Pasture

    When these deceptive landmen herded entire neighborhoods into churches for their signing parties, they never told anyone about the huge quantities of chemicals that were to be mixed with the water and sand. We were not told about the millions of gallons needed per well either. Mind you, the water used to frack a well NEVER RETURNS TO THE WATER CYCLE AS RAIN. It is gone FOREVER. I wonder if residents would have signed leases if they were told the truth up front.

  • http://barnettshalehell.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/hey-frackers-reclaimed-water-4-sale-cheap-in-arlington-tx/ Hey Frackers! Reclaimed water 4 sale cheap in Arlington TX | Arlington TX Barnett Shale Blogger

    […] trucked Arlington drinking water to frack in Grand Prairie (who was on water restrictions) http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/09/07/arlington-water-used-for-fracking-in-grand-prairie/  He’s known about this since last month’s city council meeting. How dare him act like […]

  • darrell

    i would recommend the fine be $1000.00 per gallon. the only way you will teach chesapeak a lesson is to hit them where they will feel it. the bottom line. otherwise your wasting your time and they are just laughing at you.

  • Kelly

    Y’all realize that Chesapeake Energy contributes “nicely” to the re-election campaigns of MOST of our city council and MAYOR, right? Is it any surprise that they’ll just get a slap on the wrist for this? I mean c’mon… they really do think we’re all stupid. This is all for show. Move along… Nothing to see here.

  • houston

    Guys, If’d you’d all just grant Chesapeake say a 5 year extension on your leases, and agree (in writing) not to top lease to the next round of landmen, then I’m sure they’d gladly hold up on the drilling. Believe me, nobody wants to stop drilling new Barnett wells more than them.

  • Rick McDaniel

    Since when did a local government do the right thing by its citizens? NEVER!

blog comments powered by Disqus
The Taz Show

Listen Live