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Hydraulic fracturing is the new oil boom. This controversial process to extract natural gas from deep below the earth’s surface has been expanding at breakneck speed, almost as if gas companies are racing against an invisible clock. Perhaps they are concerned that their dirty little secrets are becoming big daily news reports, and the dirt is piling up. Take the recent nightmare that a young mom from Granville Summit, PA is experiencing. 29-year-old Crystal Stroud wasn’t fazed by the change in color or odor of her family’s tap water shortly after a gas company set up a natural gas drilling rig near her home. She naively believed the company's claims that fracking was safe and that ground water contamination wasn’t a risk. But when her hair started to fall out and she became very ill, she soon regretted her decision to drink from the tap. She sent water samples to a lab and the results were alarming. According to the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, “The water test revealed high doses of lead, strontium, barium, arsenic, radium and other chemicals, she said, and she immediately stopped drinking the water, but the damage had been done.” Read more about Crystal’s nightmare here. The fracking process depends on very large quantities of water that are mixed with a proprietary blend of chemicals and forced deep into the earth to aid in the release of natural gas. The resulting huge amounts of contaminated water are a waste product and, despite what gas companies will tell you, have been know to contaminate ground water nearby. Unfortunately for the public, the proprietary nature of the process prevents disclosure of the chemicals that the gas companies use. Even after local wells have been contaminated with toxic cocktails that not only release vapors, but can actually be ignited into flames at the tap, property owners are often left with catastrophic medical problems, worthless real estate, and few answers or accountability. This horror story apparently has been replayed in communities across the country where hydro-frack drilling rigs are sprouting up all over, or as in the case this past week in Towanda, PA, spilling all over. I will be introducing a new product in the very near future that I am very excited about. This countertop filter is capable of removing radioactive particles including iodine-131 and cesium-137. It also removes strontium-90 and radium-226. People concerned about radioactive emissions from the Fukushima reactor will be delighted with the protection this filter will provide, and I am hoping that those contending with contaminated water from fracking will be too. I am still learning more about its capabilities, but I am encouraged with what I have seen so far. It’s brand new and still in testing mode, but I hope to have them available soon. Check back for updates and in the mean time, check out my Highwater Filters store for the best selection of Katadyn portable water filter products (including our best selling Katadyn Pocket) and our brand new non-electric Lifesaver distiller kits. Thanks for stopping by!