Fort Collins, CO
Salud Family Health is taking fracking seriously, and they’re using a new device created by Fort Collins-based Forston Labs to help them discover any of the oil and gas industry’s impacts to patients’ drinking water.
Ed Hendrikson started the environmental health program at Salud Family Health Centers 27 years ago, and Salud’s clinics have been testing patients’ drinking water for various contaminants ever since.
Recently, a new water quality concern has drawn Salud’s attention: Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the energy industry’s technique of injecting millions of gallons of water, toxic chemicals and sand deep into the ground to get oil and natural gas to flow to the surface.
Salud, which has a clinic in Fort Collins, is based in Fort Lupton, near the center of Weld County’s oil and gas drilling boom. When some of Salud’s patients saw a TV news report showing a Fort Lupton resident’s tapwater being lit on fire, they asked Salud staff whether their water is at risk from fracking.
“With our patient population having so much fracking around the area, you wonder if there is contamination, will that cause some problems in our community?” Hendrikson said.