Oil and Natural Gas Supply
Water Treatment System Cleans Marcellus Shale Wastewater
Onsite operations and water quality testing of the field-deployed AltelaRain® 4000 unit were conducted by CWM Environmental, Inc. Argonne National Laboratory provided life-cycle and cost-benefit analyses. The demonstration system successfully met all of the goals outlined for the project:
- The operation passed Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) regulations and proved it can be placed at the wellhead and operated within PA DEP regulatory frameworks.
- The water quality of the treated distilled water met or exceeded all requisite PA DEP water quality discharge requirements.
- The price per barrel of treated water was less than conventional trucking and disposal.
- Accelerated commercialization of the technology increases technology transfer.
All of the clean water produced at the demonstration site was able to be beneficially re-used by well operators for additional stimulations and can be discharged to surface waterways, thus reducing the economic and environmental impacts of clean water usage.
The AltelaRain® system cleans flow-back and produced water using a unique non-pressurized, inexpensive plastics-based distillation process that can reduce the water volume that needs to be treated as a waste product by up to 90 percent. The impurities concentrated in the remaining 10 to 20 percent fluid volume are disposed of by conventional methods, such as deep well injection.
The technology substantially reduces the volume of hauled fluid, the number of waste-fluid hauling trucks miles (and related wear and tear on roads), and hauling and wastewater disposal costs. Unlike other distillation technologies, the Altela process is not driven by electricity—only 2 percent of its energy is electricity—making it ideal for rural onsite well water treatment.