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Hydro-fracturing (or hydro-fracking) is a process that may be used to increase the flow of water into a well. It is usually used for low yielding wells. The process can take place at the time a new well is installed, or it can be used at any time on an existing well with low or declining yield. Hydro-fracking is only suitable for wells whose water is moving through fractures and fissures in bedrock.

The hydro-fracking technique involves injecting high-pressure water via the drilled well into the surrounding rock. Hydrofracturing may widen fractures in the bedrock and extend them further into the formation, thus increasing the network of water-bearing fractures and fissures supplying water to the well.

Hydrofracking must be conducted by a licensed or registered water well contractor, and A-Z Water Systems has this accreditation.

Important Information for Well Owners Considering Hydrofracking:

  • There may be permit and reporting requirements for hydrofracturing. Well contractors who specialize in hydrofracturing services will know whether “paperwork” is required.
  • To assess the effectiveness of hydrofracking a well, the contractor will usually perform a “before & after” test of the well yield.
  • There is the potential for the hydrofracturing process to temporarily influence water levels or turbidity in a close-by neighboring well if the two wells share some of the same fractures.
  • There have been instances where packers set too close to the surface have caused a breakout of water above ground.
  • The contractor should use high-quality water (and/or water pumped in advance from the well to be pressurized) for the hydrofracturing process to avoid introducing any contaminants into the aquifer.
  • After hydrofracturing, the contractor will normally purge the well of fine material but there could be some cloudiness in the water for a few days.
  • The use of high-pressure equipment is potentially dangerous, and homeowners should stay away from the wellhead when the hydrofracturing equipment is pressurized.
  • It is normal practice to sanitize a well after any maintenance or well development work. You may have to wait 24 hours before the well can be put back into use. The beneficial effects of hydrofracturing should be permanent, and usually achieve a satisfactory water yield for less cost than drilling a new well. With more and more well contractors possessing the equipment necessary for hydro-fracture, the process is becoming routine for areas where there are typically low yielding wells in bedrock.