Fracking water could be poured into Debert's sewer
A proposal to treat millions of litres of fracking water and then pour it into the sewer system in Debert, N.S., is garnering controversy in Colchester County.
The water is from drilling operations several years ago near Kennetcook in East Hants County.
The disposal company, Atlantic Industrial Services, said it would first lower the amount of radioactivity in the water and remove chemicals added in the fracking operations.
They said there are 5,000,000 litres of water in one of their holding lagoons at their Debert facility.
County council will decide later this week whether the company can pour the treated water into the public sewer.
The provincial government has given partial approval and the company making the pitch said the water will meet federal guidelines.
But county councillors have asked for more time and information before they let the water flow through the community's treatment plant.
Don Wilson, a member of an anti-fracking group, said he's worried about how much of the chemical will actually be removed.
"The industry has up to 933 different chemicals that they add depending on the locale and the company and many other factors that we're not fully aware of. Some of which are quite lethal and that's what we're concerned about. They're lethal to humans, animals, birds, fish anything that has a heartbeat in this world," Wilson said.
In a written statement to CBC News, the company said the naturally occurring radioactive materials are only slightly above national guidelines. It said it could filter the water to bring those levels in line.
They said "Nova Scotia is naturally high in many normally occurring radioactive materials."
"We have finished product lagoons where all waters are sampled and analyzed to ensure it meets our discharge criteria prior to release. The waters will not be released until it meets the criteria," said a spokesman.
The provincial government has approved that part of the plan. But Lori Errington, a spokesperson for the Department of Environment, said the company would still need a permit to treat the fracking chemicals.
The company already dumps treated fracking water from New Brunswick into the same system.