Produced Water 101: The Need for Innovation in Dumping Waste Water – PureLine

What is Produced Water?

Produced water refers to the liquid byproduct that comes out of the well during crude oil production. Produced water itself can vary greatly in contents depending on the site of the well, the flowrate, and density of its components, which can include soluble and insoluble oil, chemicals used for extraction, metals, dirt, salts, and a number of other undesirable substances. While the precise ratios of produced water might vary greatly, the product is almost exclusively insufficient in quality for drinking water standards; the EPA states that produced water has too high of levels of dissolved solids, fluoride, chloride, and sulfate, to name a few of the concerning components, to be used for consumption. Because of these high levels of minerals, along with potential heavy metal infusion and radioactivity, produced water needs to be cleaned before it can be used for anything with even a secondary water drinking standard, such as watering crops.

Why is Produced Water Dumped?

Indeed, produced water can be dangerous for the environment in which it is left, which is why there are standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency for proper disposal of produced water. The EPA published a report in 2021 acknowledging that the majority of wastewater is disposed of via underground injection, wherein the water can no longer be accessed or used. While this solution serves as somewhat of an effective temporary band-aid, the EPA’s report stressed the need for more out-of-the-box solutions to the problem of produced water, urging innovation and creativity among oil and gas companies in cleaning or otherwise repurposing produced water. Evaporation ponds are currently a popular option, but they have been largely understudied in their impact on the environment and are costly.

Reducing the Environmental Impact with Chlorine Dioxide

One way to minimize the negative consequences of dumping the waste product is to purify the water, allowing it to be reused in other capacities. PureLine, home to leading-edge chemists, works with oil and gas industry leaders to provide custom solutions to purify waste water and other byproducts of the fracking process. The team has significant experience with tank treatments, salt water disposal, well stimulations, line clean-outs, and water transfer to name a few of the relevant oil and gas practices. By using chlorine dioxide, a compound simply made up of oxygen and chlorine, PureLine is able to provide effective solutions to the dilemmas created by produced water at drilling sites, purifying the nasty byproduct. To learn more about PureLine’s ability to customize solutions for produced water and other natural gas byproducts, watch the below video and fill out the contact form.