A Harrisburg-based wastewater treatment company has received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to operate mobile units to treat used frac water at natural gas drilling sites. Greg Lee of Integrated Water Technologies says their systems remove contaminants from the frac water and return 80% of the flowback for re-use at drilling sites or discharge into the environment...
"We did a test with DEP and the treatment we did exceeded their discharge standards....our thought process is to re-use all of the water."
Lee says the other 20% is a concentrated salt brine which will be treated at centralized plants which will soon be built...."these will yield salt products...both liquid and dried salts that can be used in water softening and deicing of roads and erosion control."
Lee says at the end of the flowback treatment process, the cleaned water has on average 100 parts per million of total dissolved solids...well below the state's drinking water standards of a maximum 500 parts per million.
He says the company believes their process is the most cost effective frac water solution because it reduces the need for new water sources by reusing the cleaned water; reduces trucking costs with the on-site treatment; and they can sell the salt products.
The first unit is to be deployed in the Pittsburgh region in January with several units on site within 5 to 6 months.