Archive for Friday, November 17, 2017

Letter to the editor: Injection wells

November 17, 2017


To the editor:

What materials are already injected into the existing wells in Douglas County and where are they? Is the county really looking for oil or disposing of unwanted, hazardous industrial byproducts? The class of well proposed is a class 2 well; is it a disposal well, an enhanced recovery well, or a hydrocarbon storage well? What guarantee is there that the wastewater will not affect underground water supplies or contaminate surrounding farm land where food is grown or pastures where livestock live?

In conducting some research, I have two additional questions. “The culprit of earthquakes near fracking sites is not believed to be the act of drilling and fracturing the shale itself, but rather the disposal wells.” ( So, can you tell the general public that there is NO NEED for concern about earthquakes? “An unprecedented increase in earthquakes in the U.S. mid-continent began in 2009. Many of these earthquakes have been documented as induced by wastewater injection … We find that the entire increase in earthquake rate is associated with fluid injection wells. High-rate injection wells (greater than 300,000 barrels per month) are much more likely to be associated with earthquakes than lower-rate wells.” ( The Lawrence Journal-World stated on Oct. 24 that, “The applications note a maximum of 100 barrels per day for each well, which totals 8,400 gallons of waste water per day.” Who will regulate or monitor the amount of wastewater per day?


Ken Lassman 4 months ago

I for one would like a full baseline of injections in the county that has already occurred in the county before we accept another new round of injections in our county. I believe that there may very well have been some contamination of some water tables by improperly injected brines from/adjacent to already existing oil wells in our county and we need to get a good handle on that situation if we have any chance of doing a good job of monitoring whether the new wells are contaminating existing water tables. Otherwise what is there to stop the companies from saying that the documented water contamination didn't come from previous wells?

P Allen Macfarlane 4 months ago

Evidence that the injections caused contamination of ground water?

Ken Lassman 4 months ago

That's exactly what I'm wanting to figure out. I know my well and neighbors' wells have become increasingly briny over the years to the point of undrinkability. How can I tell the difference between the well tapping into briny water that might have come from deeper strata over time vs. contamination of my aquifer from poor brine management from some of the many oil wells in our county who may have improperly disposed of the waste water that came out of those wells?

P Allen Macfarlane 4 months ago

Where are you located and how deep is your well? It could be that if your are drawing in naturally occurring saline water to your well from the aquifer.

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