Brine Recycling Facility

Confidential Natural Gas Client Northwestern, PA



Disposal of well drilling flowback water has become a costly operational issue for many exploration and production companies. These companies have typically disposed of flowback water by trucking the flowback water out of state and injecting the water into deep wells. However, the flowback water can be recycled by filtering the water and mixing it with freshwater, thereby reusing the flowback water into subsequent well drill operations. By strategically locating the recycling facility in close proximity to the existing and proposed wells, hauling of flowback water and the amount of pipeline needed to convey the flowback water are minimized.

Solution Details

We designed and managed the construction of two above ground glass-fused-to-steel 2.5-MG flowback water tanks adjacent to the client’s existing freshwater impoundment site. The tank sizes were chosen to maximize storage of the flowback water and provide the available water needed for continued drilling operations. To protect the environment from unintentional discharges of flowback water, a secondary tank was constructed around the primary storage tanks, creating a “tank within a tank” system.

The mechanical facility that was designed and constructed to support the flowback tanks includes a 5-bay truck loading and unloading facility. The flowback water is filtered in a common multi-stage self-backwashing filter unit prior to storage in either primary storage tank. When needed, the flowback water is withdrawn from either tank and blended with fresh water prior to being loaded onto trucks or piped out to the well fields.

Our responsibilities included preliminary engineering to determine project needs and limitations, design, construction documentation, bidding, pre-purchase of equipment, construction, and startup coordination.

Keeping project progress from hitting any regulatory roadblocks was essential. In addition to design and construction management services, we were able to complete multiple permitting tasks, including municipal zoning/building permitting and PADEP permitting, which involved an ESCGP-1 Permit for the Erosion and Sedimentation Control during construction activities. A WMGR- 123 Residual Waste General Permit for the beneficial use of flowback water, a BAQ-GPA/GP-9 Air Quality Permit for a diesel generator, and a Radiation Protection Action Plan were also completed.

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5 million gallon capacity

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