'Is the water safe?' Some residents worry about fracking

'Is the water safe?' Some residents worry about fracking
(Source: WOIO)
(Source: WOIO)

PORTAGE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Fracking for oil and gas in Ohio is on the rise.More fracking is bringing fears of water contamination for some residents who live nearby. Hydraulic fracking injects large amounts of water mixed with sand and chemicals underground to force open shale rock, releasing oil or gas.

It's what comes up next that worries some residents in Portage County. Fracking wastewater, also known as brine, contains toxic chemicals-- from barium to copper and arsenic.

Cleveland 19 News is asking-- where does the waste go and is our drinking water safe? Fracking is big business in Portage County.

Farms and small towns dot the landscape of Portage County. It's about 500 square miles, home to over 161,000 people.

It's also one of the top 10 counties for fracking wastewater dumping in Ohio.

Cleveland 19 News crunched the numbers and found oil and gas companies pumped nearly 28 million gallons into injection wells in Portage County last year.

The U.S. EPA says underground injection wells are the safest method of wastewater disposal. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources regulates the industry.

Officials say no cases of ground water contamination have been caused by injected fluids in Ohio.

But that doesn't have residents like Fran Teresi convinced. Garrettsville resident weighs in on the issue.

"There's a concern here. We have brine trucks running on Rt. 88 through our watershed to the injection wells north of town," Teresi said.

So Teresi started a water monitoring program for Garrettsville, where she lives.

"It's the unknowns that make this hard to plan for," she said.

Is the water safe in Portage County, and how do they test for possible contamination from fracking?

Cleveland 19 News is getting answers tonight at 11.

Follow Cleveland 19 News: 

Download the Cleveland 19 News app

Copyright 2016 WOIO. All rights reserved.