Researchers at the University of Texas have concluded hydraulic fracturing used to extract natural gas does not directly contaminate groundwater, the AP reports.The study, however, does not exonerate the shale drilling industry, noting that contamination can and often does occur from spills or mishandling of wastewater.
Gas well failures from faulty causing or liners have also been shown to cause contamination and home explosions.
But they assert that in most cases, problems with water aquifers found near drilling sites were there already.
“Contamination ascribed to shale gas drilling is already widespread in local water wells prior to drilling.”
They also assert that chemicals often cited as harmful become diluted during the course of drilling operations.
The AP said the researchers received no industry financing.