There’s no doubt that if your heating water with electricity or oil, then installing solar hot water makes economic sense, especially with all of the state and federal incentives.
But there’s also a very good environmental reason for choosing solar over gas hot water, and it’s called Hydraulic Fracturing or “Fracking.”
“Fracking” is a new method developed by natural gas companies to pound out the natural gas buried in underground shale. The gas companies buy formerly pristine farm land in states like Pennsylvania and instead of planting crops, they pump a mysterious “fracking” fluid into the ground shale that frees the gas from the rocks.
The problem? Actually, there are several. For one, nobody knows what’s in this fracking fluid, since gas companies say that this fluid is “proprietary.” Meanwhile, the fracking fluid has been known to contaminate underground watershed, potentially poisoning the water supply of thousands of people.
As much as I’d love to be making this up, there are numerous reports about the dangers of fracking. Take the recent Vanity Fair article cites adjacent residents and farms having brown water flowing out of their pipes, staining laundry, scarring dishes and emitting a foul smell of chemicals.
The gas company in this article has been fined by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the State has turned off water supply to residents, citing fracking contamination.
Now environmental groups are calling for the Federal EPA to more closely regulate fracking practices and, at the very least, to reveal what’s in that wonderfu, special, fracking fluid elixir. There is some question as to whether one company is using diesel fuel is in their fluid, which of course isn’t safe for drinking.
In addition to the water supply hazards, fracking is also water intensive—an issue for drought areas—and there’s no telling what damage is being done to the surface land due to fracking waste and clear cutting.
All this is to say is that there is an affordable and reliable alternative to fracking: Solar hot water is clean energy, requires few resources to manufacture, and is affordable now. Gas may be cheap now, but at what cost to our health and the environment?
Please consider solar hot water for your business and home. It’s a fracking-free alternative to potentially dangerous water heating.