A very interesting letter from Mike Hill

A letter from Mike Hill


“I am now on bottled water and intend to only use what comes out of the tap/faucet to get a bath or flush the toilet wash the car etc.I did my own analysis of the risk and I decided to take into account two key factors”:

1. Risk of contamination (by drilling mud and fracking waste) of shallow aquifer around PNR.

2. Risk of this contamination making its way to where UU presently extract our drinking water from. (Hydrogeology).

There are many other factors of course. Not least the flooding of the Pad and so the opportunity for the operator to open all BOVs where necessary and save a fortune in treatment costs. Might sound a bit paranoid but I’ve seen it done. That might explain rather odd colours and polluting of Carr Bridge Brook.

Regarding 1 – this is pure engineering initially and geology later. So looking at engineering – well integrity – this is my area and I can make some reasonable assumptions. Based on my qualifications, experience, my own direct time on Cuadrilla rigs, my work with DECC, the EA, the HSE and the regulations themselves and my own peer reviewed papers on the subject the RS RAE report I helped with and Medact I helped write – then in my view I would estimate the risk of contamination at being between 85-100%.

Regarding 2 – this is not my area so I took advice from
Smythe and from Ward at the BGS. Looking at their replies and assumptions I would put the risk at between 10- 30% at this time.

Putting the two together and coming up with an overall view then personally (and again I urge all to do their own research) I have decided the risk is not acceptable to my family to be on tap water. I know about the artisan aquifer and I know what the operator will have had to have done to drill on and not stop. I know about the brook being contaminated. I know that UU extract 55% of Our water from Fylde. I know UU doing lots of work in and around PNR. So all in all I’m not prepared to take the risk. Once they start fracking in Jan that risk increase significantly. Once the move to Roseacre next year it goes up again. Once they start drilling east and through Woodsfold then it starts to approach 80-100%.

So in my view for the sake of my family then we are now in bottled water. At the time when fracking moves east then I sincerely hope I have got out of Fylde because at that stage I’m not convinced it would be safe to shower in the water. At the very least I would want daily monitoring of the supply to my own home to check for indicative elements.

Hope that explains a little bit my view on the water side.

And hot off the press . . . . . from Mr Hill

“Sorry forgot two things.

With UU and Cuadrilla being private companies then there are natural commercial interests and potential conflicts of interest. This was pointed out to me when I was advising the FBC committee on Shale back in 2011 and it was Cuadrilla ceo that ponied it out!

Other point is that UU seem no longer prepared to answer any questions from me. Simple things like where exactly are the abstraction locations (near Franklaw). So I’m very wary of them re my Safety and that of my family when that might be in conflict with what they view as their commercial interests. I don’t say they balance to the two directly but in reality that’s exactly what they are doing if they are going to serve the fracking industry (and make a huge profit from doing so) and supply water to all of us as a monopoly.” ”

Mike Hill C.Eng. MIET.