After a video posted to YouTube sparked an investigation the state's water watchdog says fluids containing chemicals from an oil well were illegally dumped into the ground.
The Vintage Oil Company well was drilled and fracked, a controversial process of extracting oil from dense rock.
Although the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board said its investigation isn't complete but board officials say they know already something illegal was done.
"Nobody is protecting us," said almond farmer Tom Frantz.
We first showed you video last February of an Vintage Oil Company well being drilled near an almond orchard in Shafter.
"Ten yards away a farmer was flood irrigating his almonds at about the same time," said Frantz.
Frantz captured the video back in October. At first he thought it was the release of fracking fluids, chemicals pumped into the ground to make oil flow.
"It turns out they weren't fracking until the next day they were just getting ready to frack," said Frantz.
Documents released by Vintage reveal this was the release of what the oil company calls drilling and formation fluids.
"We do not believe it was in compliance with the conditional waiver," said Clay Rodgers, Executive Officer for the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.
However the documents reveal fracking fluids were released at that site at a later date. A letter says on October 7th and 8th fracking fluids "estimated to be five barrels or less on each date" were discharged into an unlined pond.
According to the Rodgers, that is illegal. Tom Frantz thinks it's happening often.
"I wasn't that lucky to get there on the only day the only time they did something illegal. If I'm that lucky I should get a lottery ticket," said Frantz.
Vintage said in the documents they do not believe "drilling operations...contaminated soil, creeks, wetlands." Vintage did say however the company is making progress toward "ceasing the use of unlined sumps" near farmland.
"We think that is a promising solution that they are not going to use the unlined ponds," said Rodgers.
But Tom Frantz said it's too little late.
"We already see when no one is watching, they do something illegal and this is the tip of the iceberg," said Frantz.
A Vintage spokesperson would not comment saying it was "premature."
Once Central Valley Water Board completes their investigation the company could face fines and a possible drilling moratorium.
According to vintage, 83 percent of what was released was water, 8 percent was sand and the rest were chemicals like methanol, known as wood alcohol, potassium hydroxide, a corrosive substance and sodium hydroxide, also known as lye. There are a small percentage of chemicals not disclosed, which the company calls "trade secrets." According to Vintage documents these chemicals were kept from ground water.
But Frantz who took video that lead to the investigation of the fracked well thinks otherwise.
"It may not be a hazardous substance but do you want to drink it do you want it in your water no," said Frantz.