The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of hydraulic fracturing on groundwater quality in Ector, Midland, and Martin Counties located in the Permian Basin, West Texas. Chemical fluids used in hydraulic fracturing and groundwater quality parameters (chloride, fluoride, calcium carbonate, nitrate, pH, and total dissolved solids), were statistically analyzed assuming a normal probability function distribution and through a one-way analysis of variance of the parameters. Additionally, the depth of groundwater well versus water quality analysis as well as historical analysis of groundwater quality parameters of wells were performed. The result for each county was individually examined and contrasted with the other two counties, in order to make inferences about groundwater quality and oil and gas activities for the three counties. Potential risks to human health from the abnormal levels of the groundwater quality parameters studied were also discussed based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards. This research provides important information on groundwater quality in the Permian Basin and contributes on understanding the response to development in hydraulic fracturing.
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