WARRINGTON Green Party is warning residents of the 'risks' fracking could have on drinking water if an end is not brought to the process.

Party member Sarah Hayes, who stood as Warrington North candidate in last month's election, is determined to raise awareness on the matter to inform people of the potential dangers.

Mrs Hayes also insists there must be cause of concern for 'earthquakes, air quality and children's health'.

"Our area is to be fracked to within an inch of its life and beyond - only big business will benefit," she said.

"We have every reason to worry about our drinking water.

"Fracking poses a risk to drinking water - that's the conclusion of two recent scientific reports and yet the Westminster Government wants to fast-track fracking in the north of England, including the Warrington area.

"A 2015 report by UK health professionals group Medact states that fracking poses a danger to public health and calls for a five-year moratorium - it quotes 13 different studies which say that fracking can lead to ground and surface water contamination by pollutants such as methane, lead, arsenic, cadmium and radon."

Mrs Hayes joined protesters at Woolston Protection Camp, which is adjacent to the M6 junction 21, in April to voice her concerns with energy firm IGas's test drilling at the site.

IGas is drilling for coal bed methane - the gas that is trapped in coal seams.

She has pointed to research in the USA which she believes backs her views on the matter.

"The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also just released a draft report, based on four years of research, stating that fracking poses risks to drinking water," she added.

"The EPA goes on to say that it was impossible for them to find out how often water supplies had been affected by fracking because the fracking industry refused to co-operate with some of its tests.

"Why refuse to co-operate if you're sure your process is safe?"

IGas strongly denied the claims and remains adamant that as long as the correct extraction procedure takes place, damage to water will not occur.

A spokesman added: "There is no scientific evidence to prove that the hydraulic fracturing process itself has caused contamination of aquifers and a recent report by the US EPA found that fracking in the US has not led to any widespread or systemic impacts on drinking water resources.

"It is the design and construction of the well that is key to environmental protection and this is highly regulated in Britain.

"A number of scientific and academic institutions in Britain, including the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, all state the risk of water contamination is very low provided that shale gas extraction takes place at depths of many hundreds of metres, which would be the case here in the UK."