Consol Energy’s newest facility can treat a maximum flow of 3,500 gallons per minute of mine water with no liquid or solid waste from the water treatment operations leaving the property, the company says.
The Northern West Virginia Water Treatment Plant near Mannington, W. Va., will treat water from underground mine areas of Consol Energy’s Blacksville #2, Loveridge, and Robinson Run mining operations.
The mine water is pretreated at these locations for metals removal prior to conveyance through approximately 34 miles of pipeline spanning three West Virginia counties to the new centralized treatment facility.
Veolia Water, a division of Veolia Environnement, will operate the facility.
The facility is Consol’s 103rd water treatment operation. It will allow the company to continue its mining operations while helping protect the state’s waterways and reduce the company’s environmental footprint, Consol President Nicholas J. DeIuliis says.
The design is based on a zero liquid waste (ZLW) treatment process, which is comprised of a raw water pretreatment system, a reverse osmosis membrane system, evaporation and crystallization of reverse osmosis reject, and ancillary support systems. The residuals from the treatment process, including softening sludge and mixed salts, will be disposed of in an on-site landfill. As a result, no liquid or solid waste from the water treatment operations will leave Consol Energy’s property.
The water treatment facility was constructed to meet regulatory standards imposed by the West Virginia Department of Environmental of Protection for chloride content of water discharged to receiving streams, Consol says.
Consol, along with Chevron, Shell and other natural gas companies and environmental groups, in March formed a center to set standards for drilling by hydraulic fracturing in the Appalachian Basin.
Based in Pittsburgh, Penn., the Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD) has established 15 initial performance standards that the groups say will ensure safe and environmentally responsible development of the region’s abundant shale gas resources. These standards place limits on flaring, reduce engine emissions, encourage maximum water recycling and reduce the toxicity of the fracking fluid.