UT's Energy Institute says contamination can occur due to spills above ground or mishandling of wastewater. But the institute argues that those problems are not caused directly by fracking.
Fracking involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals underground to open fissures and improve the flow of oil and gas to the surface. It's used to improve productivity in gas reserves all over the U.S., including the Barnett Shale in North Texas.
An Energy Institute spokesman says no industry funds paid for the project. Fracking opponents say the study needs to be reviewed.