<<Home Niagara Falls Reporter Archive>>

Big Money in Treating Fracking Wastewater

There may be almost as much money in treating fracking wastewater as in fracking for natural gas.

An estimated $100-billion market exists in the United States for treating fracking wastewater.

Each drill site requires between three and five million gallons of water per frack. Pumped into the earth's crust, the water contains chemicals including a friction reducer, a biocide and acid, all of them useful in penetrating shale.

The wastewater occurs because 10 to 40 percent of fracking water pumped into the earth flows back to the surface.

This flow back comes not only with the chemicals it went down with, but also with what it picked up a mile or two inside the earth: carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen, helium, brine, trace mercury, arsenic, lead, radioactive radium, thorium, uranium, benzene that vaporizes into the air and, of course, natural gas, which is mostly methane, plus propane, butane, and ethane.

Fracking wastewater can't be dumped just anywhere.

The treatment for discharging fracking water into the nation's drinking water supply is to remove the chemicals in the water, called total dissolved solids (TDS). Flowback from fracking can contain up to 250,000 mg per liter. TDS must be reduced to 500 mg per liter to meet federal EPA standards.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Nov 19, 2013