An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

EPA's Study of Hydraulic Fracturing and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources

The Verification of a Method for Detecting and Quantifying Diethylene Glycol, Triethylene Glycol, Tetraethylene Glycol, 2-Butoxyethanol and 2-Methoxyethanol in Ground and Surface Waters

Brian A. Schumacher and Lawrence Zintek. EPA Report.  July 2014


Glycols are organic compounds used as solvents and found in many products including antifreeze, hydraulic brake fluids, and cosmetics. Glycols have also been reported as a component of hydraulic fracturing fluids.  Because glycols can be an indicator of the presence of hydraulic fracturing fluid, the EPA has verified an analytical method for detecting these compounds in samples taken from drinking water, surface water, and ground water. This work was done as part of EPA’s study of the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on drinking water resources.

You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.