Hydro-Fracturing is a relatively new process that is becoming a very popular option for those who struggle with a low yielding well. Hydro-Fracturing is defined as, "pumping highly pressurized water down the well in an attempt to crack the rock formation inside and adjacent to the well." The fractures are occurring in the well clear obstructions that may have previously been blocking veins of water from reaching the well. One reason that Hydro-Fracturing is so popular and successful is due to the fact that it is more controllable than other processes. Hydro-Fracturing allows for "zone frocks" which enables us to pick the area of the bedrock with the most potential for fracturing.
Hydro-Fracturing (or fracking) has been very successful. This process can turn a dry or low-yielding well into a productive investment for the future! However, not all wells can be Hydro-Fractured. Fracking is only an option if your well is primarily un-cased and in the bedrock. A minimum of 200 - 300 feet of rock is needed to work with for the best results. Due to the high pressure forced into the well fracturing needs to take place at least 50 feet below the casing to avoid blowing out the surface seal, lifting the casing, or fracturing all the way to the surface.
How much pressure do I need to properly Hydro-Fracture a water well?
The standard practice is to use a system capable of producing up to 3,000 PSI. In some cases systems capable of 4,000 PSI have been used but these are specific instances. In most single packer situations the average "break" will be between 1200 and 1500 PSI. Only when zone isolating will you normally see above 2,000 PSI.
Am I really creating a fracture?
No, the fractures already exist in the bedrock. What is actually happening is the existing fractures are either really small or they're plugged with sediment. Hydro-Fracturing cleans out these fractures then actually wears away the sides of the fractures making them larger. Therefore more water is allowed to flow into the well.
Pressure or Volume, which is more important?
In all actuality they are both equally important. The Hydro-Fracturing process consists of two stages, the "break" stage and the development stage. The pressure is needed to "break" the well. Once the well has "broken" then it needs to be developed. This requires a large amount of flow, the more water you feed it the more water you'll get out of it. Most standard systems have at least a flow rate of 75-90 gpm.