While there have been many concerns surrounding the process of hydraulic fracturing, especially concerns about groundwater and air quality, a new issue has arisen in the fracking world leading to quite a bit of debate, and you’ll never guess what it is!
A new study conducted by staff at West Virginia University looked at the noise that is generated by hydraulic fracturing sites located in close proximity to homes. While a drill site will not make nearly as much noise as an airport or even a construction site, the argument is that a fracking site creates low-decibel sounds that are sustained over a long period of time. While this may not seem like a big deal, there have been many community complaints.
What are all the complaints about?
Low-decibel sounds over an extended period of time has the potential to cause a variety of health issues, according to the studies researchers including occupational and environmental health professor Michael McCawley. The sounds coming from drilling operations have the ability to cause sleep disturbances, worsen cardiovascular disease, and contribute to a whole host of stress-related ailments. This is argued to be because of how the low-decibel sounds impact the human body, and fracking sites can have a variety of sounds that vary in both intensity and length. Arguably, this wouldn’t be more than a simple annoyance for most people. However, the real problem could be with individuals who are in vulnerable populations and more susceptible to the side effects that drilling can cause, such as children and the elderly.
What can the fracking industry do to mitigate any concern?
While it is not great news for the fracking industry that this is another issue that has to be addressed, there are a lot of simple solutions that can help protect vulnerable populations, reduce complaints, and show communities that the fracking industry cares about their home. The first step would be to have a well set up job site that has all the tools needed for them to complete their job promptly and as efficiently as possible. This will include everything from having the necessary equipment on site when expected, including fracking pond alternatives to hold the frac water, and including sound barriers around the site as many industry leaders are opting for. For sites within a specific proximity to communities, sound barriers can provide much needed noise relief as well as visually disguising a majority of a frac site. Other options include selecting frac sites that are further away from populations prior to drilling ones closer, and working with the community as closely as possible in order to help address community concerns. Obviously, more research in the area is needed to understand what noise truly does and help to find even more ways to mitigate any disturbance.
Fracking isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and it even helps consumers save roughly $1337 dollars per year on energy bills. If you’re a fracking company looking to set up an ideal frack site, turn to Well Water Solutions for the best fracking pond alternatives. Contact us today for further information.