Hydraulic fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing (also known as ‘fracking’) is the process of drilling down deep into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release shale gas inside.

South East Water is not currently supplying water to energy companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing.

However, we will have dialogue with any energy firm about their potential water needs if they intend to carry out exploratory work within our supply area. 

Water companies have recently become statutory consultees on this issue.

If any hydraulic fracturing project takes place in our area we will work closely with the Environment Agency to ensure the water environment is protected.

The use of water for shale gas extraction would be classed as non-domestic purpose. Water companies have a duty to supply water for non-domestic purposes except in cases where this would detrimentally affect other water users or the environment.

Water UK represents water companies such as South East Water in discussions with the shale oil and gas industry, government and other stakeholders on the use of fracking, safeguards to water resources and the environment and ongoing research programmes.

The Environment Agency or Department of Energy and Climate Change can confirm whether your property is within a licensed area for hydraulic fracturing and whether any company has secured a licence to investigate.

For more information:

Environment Agency
Department of Energy and Climate Change