So what is fracking?
It begins with a well dug vertically—anywhere from under 1000 to over 8000 feet—then thousands of feet horizontally (picture and underground L). Water mixed with sand, chemicals and additives like salts, acids, alcohols, lubricants and disinfectants is pumped into the well at an extremely high pressure. This causes fractures to form in the surrounding rock releasing reservoirs of natural gas or oil which can then be pumped out. The water is also pumped back out leaving the added sand to settle into the fractures which prevents them from closing. And now you have an active well!
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