Shocking photos and an update from the Colorado fracking flood zone


Please sign this PETITION to enact an immediate moratorium on fracking in Colorado. 


Please see my previous post: Is there a media blackout on the fracking flood disaster in Colorado?  Note comments.

Let’s get something straight: This is a blog that focuses solely on oil and gas issues. I don’t blog about sewage or machine shop chemicals. I blog about the oil & gas mafia and have done so for many years. I realize there is a tremendous human tragedy happening in Colorado right now and that is horrible and heartbreaking. This is a part of that tragedy. If you want to start a blog and write about sewage and helicopter rescues or any other issue you can get a free blog at To industry and their apologists: Feel free to continue making an ass of yourself in the comments.

Below is an email from a a resident of Boulder County, another major flood area in Colorado.  Boulder County abuts Weld County. I remind you that Trish Schuller was the master of ceremony at the industry Psyops Conference I attended. Also let me remind you that Earthworks did a year long analysis of regulation in six states. Colorado is failing miserably.

The Denver Post finally got its head out of its ass and published an article today.

It’s taken 5 days. Tisha Schuller, quoted in the article saying there are “thousands” of flooded wells, is the president of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA), the industry’s lobbying group here in Colorado. If you read the article, she’s asking that activist photo takers (who stood on broken highways and in flood waters where you can’t tell where the heck you are in all the flood waters) tell her the locations of the damaged wells! I’m dumbfounded. The drillers and lobbyists don’t know where their flooded wells are? Anadarko and Encana can’t hire a plane and fly over their own damn wells to assess the damage? They have no data transmissions indicating problems with a well?

More on COGA
There are 5 Colorado front-range communities that got fracking bans or moratoriums on their November ballots, 4 of them after extensive petition drives. (The local amendments and ordinances specify bans or moratoriums within each community’s city limits.) COGA has hired and paid for attorneys to harass several of the communities by filing protests to their petitions—our community, Lafayette, was one targeted (unsuccessfully) by COGA’s army of retained law firms. Loveland is in a court battle financed by COGA so its moratorium is stalled. COGA also sued Longmont, a community north of us that was damaged by the flood, when Longmont passed a fracking ban last year after a successful petition drive. Longmont has also been sued by the state of Colorado—the damn taxpayers! It’s hard to believe. And Longmont also banned fracking within its city limits! COGA has plenty of money for attorneys to harass local Colorado communities; take some of that money and hire a plane—look at the damage yourself!

The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission headed by Matt Lepore, also mentioned in the article, is the state agency that has a dual purpose in regard to oil and gas extraction; ostensibly protect the public and environment AND encourage oil and gas drilling in Colorado. Guess which wins. COGCC has 17 inspectors dealing with 50,000 wells in the state of Colorado.

This can only get worse and worse.

Please send donations to EBCU.

Aerial Photos
Weld Air and Water organization
Pagosa Daily Post: The Unreported Flood Disaster
East Boulder County United Facebook Page
Daily Camera
Denver Post

Gasline rupture in near Greely.

Photos from Greely/Evans. There are 697 wells in Greeley and over 20,000 in Weld county to date and growing.






Greely_Evans6 Greely_Evans7 Greely_Evans8 Greely_Evans9 Greely_Evans11

The water is receding which should allow well owners to get into impacted wells. This is important because wells under water have combustors (the devices used to burn off waste gases) that are under water and thus “out” thus allowing un-combusted waste gases to escape into the atmosphere as raw natural gas. Raw natural gas is poisonous, odorless, colorless and seeks out low areas, in this case it will follow the course of the river.

The combustor is the big black pipe in the left of the picture.


The other problem is escape of oil products. Below is a picture of a condensate tank that should be hooked by a pipe to the wellhead above which captures produced toxic fluids.

It is no longer connected and can leak into the Platte river where it’s floating right now. Oh and here we see also how close these wells are to residential areas, those are homes behind the tank, thankfully evacuated.


The third major problem is storing [fracking] chemicals in flood zones and residential areas.

Notice the water level line on the [Baker Hughes] building. The far side of the building (still in water) is where the dock doors (loading and unloading) are located. Right behind this building is where the well and tank in the previous pictures are located. These pictures were taken on Saturday in Evans in the 4600 block of Brantner Rd. And you can use any of them you wish.


Here is a shot of the wells across the street (11th Ave.) from Island Grove park, it’s right next to the Poudre river. The problem here is the water from the river has flooded the secondary containment berm.

This was last night 9/15/2013 The building in back is the Swift JBS Beef processing plant on 11th Ave and the Cache de Poudre river



UPDATE: This is an excellent video that highlights how lame COGA is.

Colorado frack-site flooding – September 2013 from Mateo Albaricoque on Vimeo.

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. says

    One amusing thing about the comments on the former post is that all day long the gasholes make comments but come 5:00 PM they all clock out and go home. That’s when the working men and women get on line and tell them what’s real. That’s why we will win, we never clock out.

      • Alberta Neighbor says

        Sharon’s post 5.2k facebook likes and climbing, previous post on industry’s contamination contribution – 76k and climbing.

        “Hard to fight against articles like this”

        For sure, 10 people (no k) liked it – and it’s been up since September 10th.


      • Paul says

        Sue, please do not be so naive. It’s not at all hard to fight against articles such as you link to. They are propaganda of the oil and gas industry. The statements to the effect that “there has never been a case of water contamination by fracking” are absurd. If the individuals quoted actually said those things, then they are not fit for the offices they hold and are probably bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. There are many such cases well-documented and credible in Colorado alone. And I just Googled “documented water contamination from fracking” and found many references including this one: Just because officials in the pay of big O&G look the other way and spout lies doesn’t make these go away. It has long been a well established propaganda technique that if you keep repeating a lie long and loud enough, most people will believe it to be true. But it’s still not true.

    • Lois Payette says

      Have they done any testing to see how bad the chemicals are that are leaching into the water from the floods? This should be done, it might be a way to stop fracking if it is proven to damage the water supply and the environment.

  2. Matt says

    Need some info on this FRACKING as they want to start it here around my district and I’m not happy about it …

    • Henrietta Wise says

      Dear Matt, Just to give you an overview:
      Each gas drilling well requires 5 acres of road and a well pad, 4 to 9 million gallons of water mixed with 50,000 gallons of hundreds of different chemicals–many of them highly toxic carcinogens, neurotoxins and endocrine disrupters (as well as many untested synergistically on living beings of any kind). All this is forced into a spider web of miles of pipeline which soon exploits with the force of a pipebomb. The inside of all that pipeline is soon thick coated with radioactive radium as a result of 60% of that toxic brew flowing back upwards and exiting as gas waste “brine.”(the first liquid out is called “Flowback” which is still extremely toxic and now contains radioactive radium 226. The liquids produced thereafter are called “Produced waste.” 40% of the hazardous waste remains underground going into aquifers, cracks, sideways, upwards, etc, etc. There is no way to trace what happens to it. Most of the first extremely toxic “Flowback” is stored in plastic-lined pits nearby–where it becomes susceptible to floods. The later “Produced Brine” which still contains toxic chemicals and radioactive material is being used to melt snow and settle dust along the roads of Pennsylvania and in the Southern Tier of upstate New York. Each frack will require at least 1000 desiel truck trips to and from the site. This list is a year’s life for only one well on one pad. Each pad can hold 8 wells in New York State or up to 3 times that in Texas. Each well is capable of many frackings. Fracking has been removed from the protective environmental laws set up to protect our nation- namely: the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Safe Air Act – including the many regulations both these laws encompass. This blocking of laws and regulations also blocks our EPA, DEC’s and DEP’s from regulating what goes on at Fracking sites. Gas companies then become the foxes guarding the hen houses. This blocking of laws and regulations also makes it impossible for individuals or families to sue any gas company who destroys their water, land and air under any circumstance. Just Google Hydrofracking and you’ll see much, much more than this little paragraph. Thanks for asking.

      • Mark says

        You have no idea what your talking about, they pump sand and water and chemical mix down 2% of the liquid is chemical and they are household chemicals. I work for a frac company in Canada, Quit reading bull shit blogs on the internet and talk to a frac company supervisor.

          • GhostBlogger says

            Gee, Mark, insurers say otherwise:

            “So, should you be fretting if you live near a fracking site? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

            Fracking can result in toxic chemicals contaminating the water and air around drilling sites. However, home insurance likely won’t cover fracking-related damage to your house, such as a fire, according to Kevin Foley, owner of PFT&K Insurance Brokers in New Jersey.

            Why wouldn’t that damage be covered? Home insurance policies generally contain strict exclusions regarding pollution damage, Foley says, and that includes fracking.

            For now, special insurance to cover fracking damage isn’t sold.”


        • Alberta Neighbor says

          “2% of the liquid is chemical and they are household chemicals. I work for a frac company in Canada”

          Perfect, maybe you can tell us which “household chemicals” these are, since the actual chemical names and CAS numbers aren’t provided for this particular frac job, and many others. Any information on the health effects of these mystery products you might want to share, or are they keeping you in the dark as well?

          Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Chemicals, CAS#/MIRC# not provided
          Dec 1 2012 – Dec 3 2012, 08-33-053-10W5, Artisan Energy:

          CARRIER FLUID TG-740
          ADDITIVE HB-4 Trican Breaker
          ADDITIVE HX-2W Trican Crosslinker
          ADDITIVE Hg-2 Trican Gelling Agent
          ADDITIVE S-12 Trican Surfactant

          “Quit reading bull shit blogs on the internet and talk to a frac company supervisor.”

          I wouldn’t want to distract them, the last thing we need is another Grande Prairie where they frac’d and contaminated a freshwater aquifer. 40,000 litres of toxic, carcinogenic frac fluid still sitting in that aquifer last I heard, and of course, “No fines will be levied at the companies responsible for the water contamination.”

          I believe that’s what they call “The Alberta Advantage.” At least they’re building a new cancer hospital, that may balance things out somewhat.

        • Celeste says

          I think your definition of “household chemicals” is quite different than just about everybody else’s definition…except for those profiting from fracking, of course.

          I don’t have any formaldehyde in my home, do you? Since it is a known carcinogen and all, you might want to take yours to your local toxic waste dumping facility.

          I also don’t have any dibromo-3. It is a soil fumigant, and is known to cause male sterility, and was banned by the EPA in 1979. It is horrible when it gets in groundwater because it’s presence lasts for a very long time. If you’ve had problems with conceiving children, you might want to take your dibromo-3 to the toxic waste dump, as well. They will probably ask you where in the billyhell you got it, so be prepared.

          I could go on and on….But, suffice it to say that many elements of the fracking fluids are highly toxic, can cause cancer and many other fatal diseases, and last in the soil and groundwater for decades to millennia.

          Most people don’t want to live with that type of toxic waste. However, as they say in the car ads, “your mileage may vary.”

        • Tim Ruggiero says

          I’ve spoken to quite a few Frac Supervisors. If I’m supposed to be impressed, I’m not. I’ve spoken to enough of them over the years that I can tell you there’s only one small difference between a ‘supervisor’ and the rest of the crew; He drives a white Ford F-150 and has the least amount of drilling mud on him.

          I can tell you’re ‘supervisor’ because like all other frackers and Paid Liars, you like to use percentages to minimize the numbers that best fit your corporate narrative. Saying the chemicals are “2%” sounds a helluva lot better than saying you use about 30,000 gallons, doesn’t it?

          Do you happen to work for TransCanada? There’s a fun loving bunch for ya; Creators of one of the world’s largest environmental disasters, known as the Tar Sands. Not satisfied with mucking up your own country, you have to compete with BP and Exxon in mucking up ours with your pipeline.

          This is part where you tell me your job is more important than health.

  3. Ireland - fracking free for now says

    You’re doing great work. Please continue to post info and especially photos. We’re fighting the frack here in Ireland too…

      • Rich Dunn says

        There is no way to safely put toxic chemicals in the ground and expect nothing to happen. Its like putting all the pollutants in the atmosphere and expecting it not to affect you respiratory system.

  4. Serqet says

    Hi TXSharon, I’ve just discovered your blog, and am appalled at the pathetic arguments and name calling used by some of your detractors. Way to go to present an adult debate guys! Just because someone uses some oil derivatives in their daily life does not mean that fracking, and oil and gas extraction is the way forward. It’s all going to run out one day you know, and without investment now into alternative power sources, life will be rather difficult. The legacy will also be one of pollution, damaged climate, poisoned earth and people. You pro-oil and gas people make me ill, sitting in your ivory towers. You can’t eat money, and you don’t appreciate your health until you’ve no longer got it.

    I am in the UK, and we are right at the beginning of our fracking nightmare, sorry, journey, and despite earthquakes and deep deep public opposition, our government just seems to be rolling along giving in to the oil and gas industry! You probably haven’t heard of the Balcombe anti-fracking protest, just google it.

    On the up side, hidden away on the BBC Scotland pages,
    An enormous tidal turbine system to be implemented in an area north of the scottish mainland where the water flow is fast!

    Keep up the good work TXSharon, and thank you.

    • Anymous says

      Good blog. Also in the UK, be carefull of your gubment. The O&G companies are aquite apt (world wide) at buying off the gubments at any level so as to allow them to do whatever they want to whenever they want to do it.

    • saturnx311 says

      FYI, the US Government has classified as Top Secret over 5,000 free energy patents, some dating back to the late 1800s. Big Energy loves that they are all locked up tight. But thankfully, many are coming out here on the internet. Anyone know the name Nikola Tesla? The man was the indisputed genius of our time.
      Research diligently and you will find more than you need to keep your family from ever being tied to the grid again.

  5. alexene says

    if you want to change things in your state, you need to take it back from CORPORATION. I understand the “payoffs”, MONEY, and some of that goes to the locals. but at what price? Make a stand, go ABOVE local media, and put a STOP to’s like prostitution, selling the land to corporations has a price, you now know the cost, SO TAKE CHARGE< ..GROUP< ORGANIZE<and make a STAND!!!

  6. Lydia Coates says

    NPR covered this problem this AM. Might not be the first time, but was the first time I heard it. Word is getting spread!

  7. Rich Dunn says

    Someone should start shooting flares into the air. Maybe a big disaster will wake people up to the truth.

  8. Beth says

    Thank you so much for writing about this. I live in Colorado close to the flooding and it’s sick how this is being ignored.

    We appreciate the support!

  9. JKrill says

    Unbelievable. And unbelievably great coverage, Sharon. Every town and county in Colorado that can do it should ban fracking. And for all of those in harms way from oil and gas, my heart goes out to you in this and other disasters, and my solidarity does too.

  10. Jana says

    Sue worked overtime, she posted at 5:20. Keep it up Sharon, the people of Colorado finally have a voice. This is like the shot heard round the world. Prayers and support to our brothers and sisters in Ireland and England, I have been watching your fight as well. Remember, many of us here in America have Irish, and English heritage. In the end, that does not matter, we are all one people, one planet, we must help each other. Bless you all. Praying for you guys in Colorado!

  11. Jana says

    Yes they will. I will start posting and tweeting that we need to focus now on getting the necessary disaster relief to them that they need. I know they are following, so I will rely on them to follow up and post needs or share so we can put it out there. Is it safe? I am worried about the pipelines, the water, the environment in general. Is it safe for them to even return home? What needs to happen first? Testing? If it is safe, then, please let us know what is needed so we can get that out there, and I will get going on my end.

  12. Ken Clark says

    You apparently don’t understand how propaganda works.
    Furthermore, when you go sticking your nose in highly sensitive business areas, a lot of the time you find yourself DEAD.

    Obituaries DON’T LIE.

    Profit over risk & safety has always been the driving force. Even within the regulating agencies overseeing safety of American citizens.

    • carla massaro says

      Hey Ken –> If profit over risk and safety has always been the driving force, I’d say IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE!!! I also think you put a veiled threat out there with your comment about “finding yourself dead”. Very disturbing that you would go there…

  13. Jana says

    Ken, I know that Sharon does get that. Is your comment out of concern for her safety? Obituaries only tell that someone passed away. I do hope you are just pointing out the obvious. You are posting on the blog one of the strongest women, with balls bigger than a lot of men I have known in my life. It takes courage and strength to do what she does, more than most people in this world possess. So please, do not add to her burden with the mountain of e-mails and phone calls she gets daily from around the world now from people wanting help to tell her to not upset the industry apple crate. I assure you sir, she gets it. Regards, Jana DeGrand

  14. carla massaro says

    Total disrespect for the people/animals/food crops on the ground in Colorado by these “FOR PROFIT” corporations. They will run from THEIR RESPONSIBILITY like a bat out of hell because it will cut into their bottom line. Profit is king my friend!

    • Alberta Neighbor says

      “They will run from THEIR RESPONSIBILITY like a bat out of hell”

      The “good neighbor” mask is quickly removed when they’re faced with the consequences of their actions or inactions.

      “The rail company involved in the train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Que., last month has filed for bankruptcy protection in both Canada and the United States.

      The Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway filed for protection from its creditors in a U.S. federal court in Maine on Wednesday.

      Simultaneously, legal representatives for the company’s Canadian arm, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Canada Co., appeared in Quebec Superior Court in Montreal, filing for similar protection in Canada.

      The move comes one month and a day after a runaway MM&A train carrying crude oil derailed and then exploded, killing at least 47 people.

      Mounting lawsuits, cleanup costs outweigh assets

      Faced with enormous cleanup costs and mounting lawsuits, the company said in a statement Wednesday afternoon that it does not have the means to pay those bills.

      ‘It has become apparent that the obligations of both companies now exceed the value of their assets, including prospective insurance recoveries, as a direct result of the tragic derailment at Lac-Mégantic, Que., on July 6,’ MM&A chairman Edward Burkhardt said in the statement.

      .. MM&A has only $25M in insurance

      Any suggestion that MM&A’s insurance might come close to covering those mounting cleanup costs was put to rest by the figures buried in court documents.

      They indicate the company has a policy with XL Insurance Company Ltd. for $25 million US, to cover evacuation, fire suppression, pollution cleanup, bodily injury and property damage.

      The same documents, filed in Quebec Superior Court, show by the company’s own estimate ‘pollutant cleanup costs will exceed $200 million CDN.'”égantic-rail-disaster-company-mm-a-files-for-bankruptcy-1.1338481

  15. elaine bernarding says

    I am glad I found this site. Thanks for the information. My cousin has told me that the polluted water from fracking is a lie…. Glad I found this site.

    • Alberta Neighbor says

      Thank you for the link, I found this interesting:

      “Caitlyn McCrimmon, a senior research associate for Calgary-based energy consultant ITG Investment Research, said of Colorado oil and gas drilling. ‘The only real impediment to growth in this area would be if this gives enough ammunition to environmentalists to rally support for fracking bans, which they had started working on before this.'”

      Another “impediment” might be if parents, grandparents, doctors, lawyers, teachers, industry execs, employees and regular joes, rally support for frac’ing bans and take to the streets – like they did in Ms. McCrimmon’s own city of Calgary when a community found out they were going to be frac’d.

      Reportedly Kaiser has now decided not to drill and frac their Calgary well(s) near the community, and the residents are quite pleased they won’t be frac’d – for now. Reportedly the plan is to still drill and frac the city, but the Kaiser well(s) will now be pushed 2.3 kilometres east. So on to the next community I guess.

      Seems Calgary execs aren’t the only ones up-in-arms, parents in Lethbridge, Alberta aren’t keen on having their kids struggle to grow up in a frac field either.

      • Celeste says

        Quoting from Alberta’s quote:

        ““Caitlyn McCrimmon, a senior research associate for Calgary-based energy consultant ITG Investment Research, said of Colorado oil and gas drilling. ‘The only real impediment to growth in this area would be if this gives enough ammunition to environmentalists to rally support for fracking bans, which they had started working on before this.’”


        Well, excuuuuuuse me, Caitlyn McCrimmon. I wouldn’t want to IMPEDE growth in a highly toxic, environmentally and humanly heinous process which leaves a path of destruction of the earth and its people as its legacy. So sorry that standing up for my rights is an inconvenience to you.


  16. storm says

    I really appreciate this info- thanks for sharing and informing us of this dangerous fracking going on.

  17. Justin Hamiltion says

    As someone who has worked in the industry, all I can do is state the obvious; that this is what happens when you have wells in a flood plane. Dallas, this is what you have to look forward to if you allow wells and related facilities to be put in your flood plane.

  18. Peterk says

    since you haven’t posted any updates about the Colorad flooding i thought I would share this with you and the others

    “While the new estimate of oil released from flood-damaged tanks has grown to almost 35,000 gallons, officials believe it really is just a minute part of a much bigger problem. Floodwaters quickly became a toxic soup of wastewater, raw sewage, industrial and household chemicals, agricultural waste and chemicals rushing downstream. Oil and gas releases, officials said, have been so small it’s almost immaterial. “There were likely hundreds of millions of gallons of untreated or partially treated sewage, and that is the larger public health concern,” said Mark Salley, spokesman for the state Department of Public Health and Environment. “It doesn’t … ”

    ” the oil spills represent about 4 percent of the 660,000 gallons it takes to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The waste contained in the Evans plant alone would fill nearly two swimming pools.”
    “Colorado health officials say they know that “millions of gallons” of raw sewage were washed into the state’s floodwaters, and are working to better assess the magnitude of the spills.

    “Some wastewater plants were completely flooded, some systems lost treatment capabilities for a while and some lost large segments of sewer lines, but the plant is still operating,” said Steve Gunderson director of the water quality control division at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.”

    “The state is tracking multiple spills from oil and gas operations in the South Platte Basin, but the testing showed no evidence of contamination.

    “Although much attention was focused on spills from oil and gas operations, it is reassuring the sampling shows no evidence of oil and gas pollutants,” said Larry Wolk, chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.”

    “While oil spills grab the most headlines, health experts worry more about the amount of human waste and other common chemicals washed over the state by floodwaters.”|mostcom&gcheck=1

    “State regulators raised their tally of oil and gas storage tanks toppled in the flood to 24 and documented more spills Friday, bringing the total to more 22,000 gallons of oil contaminating Colorado’s South Platte River valley.”
    “The growing spill volumes still are small by oil and gas industry standards, and they rank low in comparison with other contaminants leaked this past week as debris-filled floodwaters rushed through northern Colorado. Other industrial chemicals and agricultural waste, including runoff from feedlots, seeped into flood torrents — not to mention millions of gallons of municipal sewage from compromised water treatment plants.”

    “Boulder’s 25 square miles were awash in an estimated 4.5 billion gallons of water as of Friday morning, according to reports in The Denver Post.” and 22,000 gallons of oil were spilled? wonder what that percentage?

    look forward to your honest reporting of events

  19. jjensen says

    All you dipshits that don’t know a thing about fracing should do a little research before you start feeding people with all these lies. How does all these bad chemicals get into a water table that is 6000 feet Above where the fluid is pumped in? Plus these is many safety barriers between the ground and the casing where the fluid goes so it is impossible for the fluid to leach through the casing into the water table. Just do some research on this and talk to the hard working people that provide you clean energy and get the facts. If you ban this we will just be buying energy from over seas and paying triple what you pay now. Then we will all have to listen to all you tree hugers talk about why we are buying natural gas from overseas. Don’t be dumbasses and pull your heads out of each others butt