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Aquatech to Treat Shale Gas Wastewater

Industrial water and wastewater technology company Aquatech has been granted a permit to operate a Pennsylvania facility targeting regional shale gas producers.

The facility, located in Tioga County, will feature Aquatech’s MoTreat and MoVap process units, a pretreatment and distillation evaporator system designed to treat drill fluids, frac flowback, production brine and other wastewater from exploration and production of conventional and unconventional oil and gas. The processing units provide services including filtration, disinfection, solids handling, pretreatment and evaporation concentration.

Globally, Aquatech treats nearly 1 million barrels of oil and gas field-produced water per day in an effort to help producers minimize the amount of freshwater used in the well development process and reduce the volume of wastewater that must be disposed or treated off-site, the company said.

A report released last month by consulting firm Accenture found shale gas companies could benefit financially and cut water use by collaborating with regulators and sharing infrastructure with other operators working in the same drilling basin.

Each shale drilling basin in the US typically supports several companies, each with their own network of machinery and trucks, the report says. Collaboration, such as sharing logistics, excess capacity and infrastructure, could reduce the impact on a basin.

Companies could also work together to improve water treatment, for example through a shared regional facility, a key option to overcome the challenges of increased regulation, Accenture said.

A report released by Stony Brook University last year found the disposal of contaminated wastewater from hydraulic fracturing wells producing natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region presents risks from salts and radioactive materials that are “several orders of magnitude larger” than for other potential water pollution events.

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