Five women from Leeds lay down in the road and stopped traffic today to stage a protest against fracking.
The women, from environmentalist group Reclaim The Power, said they had locked themselves to devices on the road at the front entrance of Cuadrilla's shale gas drilling site to call for an end to fossil fuels and a development in renewables.
The women traveled from Leeds to Blackpool for the protest at the site near Little Plumpton, after discovering that Cuadrilla was likely to send waste water from drill sites to the Knostrop water treatment works in Leeds.
They say that millions of gallons of water will be needed for fracking which would then be pumped back out from deep underground, contaminated with heavy metals and low level radioactive waste.
Coralie Datta, one of the activists, said concerns around fracking waste water have existed since Cuadrilla discharged two million gallons into the Manchester Ship Canal after being processed at the Davyhulme treatment works in Trafford in 2014.
She said: “In countries where fracking is already happened there are repeat cases of water contamination, both in the ground and during the treatment process.
"The process of treating post-fracking water in the UK is unknown but Leeds’ Knostrop treatment works is one of the few sites in the UK that has been designated to take it and that is a huge concern to me.”
Replying to the waste water worries, Lee Petts, environmental expert at Remsol said: “Wastewater from Cuadrilla’s Preese Hall test well was appropriately treated at United Utilities’ Davyhulme plant, which then lawfully discharged clean ‘final effluent’ into the Manchester Ship Canal in accordance with its environmental permit.”
He said Davyhulme processed 6,600 gallons of sewage a second, meaning the fracking fluid was just 5 minutes’ of normal daily inputs and that Knostrop already processed similar wastewater.