Tag Archives: oil

MIT Finds Way to Reuse Water from Fracking

fracking oil

Fracking, or the process of extracting oil from underground reservoirs, takes a lot of time, money, and water. But humans are extremely dependent on this technique because it brings out a natural resource that fuels transportation methods that we use in our everyday lives. Cars, buses, trains, and planes are just a few of the ways we get around that use oil as fuel. So how can a process that is so important still be so inefficient? Fracking wastes millions of gallons of water per year, water that could be reused for other purposes.

So why isn’t it being reused? Because when water is pressurized down into the ground to extract oil, it becomes contaminated and deemed “brimy”. This type of water is discarded into deep injection wells and new, clean water is bought to continue the fracking process.

Oil Rig

Luckily a company that works with MIT has come up with a genius process to reuse some of these million gallons that are wasted every year. This company, called Gradient Corporation, has created a cost-effective process to treat brimy oilfield water for reuse. Depending on the location and type of fracking, carrier gas extraction (CGE) or selective chemical extraction (SCE) is used to clean the brimy water. Carrier gas extraction heats produced water into vapor and condenses it back into water without contaminants. In selective chemical extraction, chemical reactions remove specific contaminants. Both processes are effective, easy to use, and will save millions of dollars annually for fracking companies.

Reusing water is important, especially at a time when the West Coast is in a severe drought. It is important that every person does their part in helping to save water and save our environment. There are so many ways that you can save water, but one important way that also improves your health is to buy a water filtration system for your home that reuses backwash water. Think of it as your own system, like fracking, that can normally waste backwash water. Filtercon Technologies has developed a system that does just the opposite; reuses that water for other purposes while still purifying the water that goes into your home. Want to know more? Visit http://www.filtercon.com or call us at 800-550-1995.

Source:

Toward Cheaper Water Treatment. MIT News. July 15, 2015. http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/cheaper-fracking-water-treatment-0716

Images:

1) wkms.org

2) huffingtonpost.com

How San Diego is Saving Water during the Drought

Last week the San Diego community received the 2014 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report handbook. In it contains information about where the city’s water is sourced from, how the water treatment process works, how the city is diversifying our water, and how the city is moving towards more sustainable practices.

By 2035, the city of San Diego plans to have 1/3 of its drinking water supplied through a program that purifies recycled water. It is planned to produce about 15 million gallons of water for the city each day. The technology used to do so requires membrane filtration, reverse osmosis, advanced oxidation with ultraviolet light, and hydrogen peroxide. The city tested this method through a one-year project using 9,000 water quality tests and daily monitoring to ensure that no contaminants were present in the recycled water. The California Department of Public Health and San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board approved the recycled water purifying process as it met all federal and state drinking water standards.

San Diego is also exploring ways to use groundwater basins to provide water storage, capture rainwater for recycling purposes, and implement an ocean desalination plant to produce desalinated water for use throughout San Diego County.

The 2014 Water Quality Report also states that the city has been mandated to reduce its water use by 16% as a whole. They are asking residents and businesses to identify where they can most save water and give tips on the best ways to do so. Some of these include: only watering your lawn two times per week, putting low-flow heads on your faucets and showerheads, and evaluating your pipes for possible water leaks. They are also urging residents to use the City’s Public Utilities Department website, wastenowater.org, for water-saving resource guides.

Are you wasting water throughout your home? Filtercon Technologies is a full-line water treatment company. They have whole-house water filters that don’t waste water, save you money, and keep you healthy! They are one of the most trusted water filtration systems in the state, and work mostly by referral. Check out their site, http://www.filtercon.com. Or call for more information at 800-550-1995.

Source:

The City of San Diego 2014 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report. City of San Diego Public Utilities Water & Wastewater. 2 July 2015.

Image:

kidscures.org

People near ‘fracking’ wells report health woes

1410297314000-AP_Fracking_With_GasPhoto Credit: Keith Srakocic, AP

Written by : Wendy Koch, USA TODAY

People living near natural-gas wells were more than twice as likely to report upper-respiratory and skin problems than those farther away, says a major study Wednesday on the potential health effects of fracking.

Nearly two of every five, or 39%, of those living less than a kilometer (or two-thirds of a mile) from a well reported upper respiratory symptoms, compared to 18% living more than 2 kilometers away, according to a Yale University-led random survey of 492 people in 180 households with ground-fed water wells in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The disparity was even greater for skin irritation. While 13% of those within a kilometer of a well said they had rashes and other skin symptoms, only 3% of those beyond 2 kilometers said the same.

“This is the largest study to look at the overall health of people living near the wells,” says lead author and University of Washington environmental health professor Peter Rabinowitz, who did the research while at Yale. The study focused on Washington County, part of the Marcellus Shale where hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is widely used to extract natural gas.

“It suggests there may be more health problems in people living closer to natural gas wells,” but it doesn’t prove that the wells caused their symptoms, he says, adding more research is needed.

Fracking, combined with horizontal drilling, has spurred a U.S. boom in oil and natural-gas production. It blasts huge amounts of water — mixed with sand and chemicals — deep underground to break apart shale deposits and extract gas and oil from the rock’s pores.

Prior peer-reviewed studies have linked fracking to possible birth defects, higher lung disease risks, methane contamination in drinking water and elevated endocrine-disrupting chemical activity in groundwater. Some environmental groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, oppose fracking, saying it has insufficient safeguards.

Yet the oil and gas industry defends fracking as a safe way to bolster the U.S. economy and lessen the nation’s dependence on foreign sources of energy.

“There are zero confirmed cases of groundwater contamination connected to the fracturing operation in 1 million wells hydraulically fractured over the past 60 years,” says a July report by the American Petroleum Institute. It says “numerous protective measures are in place at well sites” and “federal statues regulate every step” of the process.

“We don’t really know the cause” of the higher self-reported health symptoms, says Yale research scientist Meredith Stowe, co-author of the paper, which was published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

“There’s a number of possible air contaminants,” Rabinowitz says, noting the flaring of gas wells and the diesel exhaust from heavy equipment at fracking sites. Also, the study notes that well water could become contaminated if there are breaks in the gas well casing or other leaks from fracking activities.

“Stress could also be a cause of skin rashes,” he says. He found the disparities in skin and respiratory symptoms persisted even after adjusting for participants’ gender, age, educational level, smoking and awareness of environmental risk factors.

The study did not find a significant increase in neurological, cardiovascular or gastrointestinal symptoms among those living closer to natural gas wells.

At the time the research was conducted in the summer of 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said there were were 624 active natural-gas wells in the survey area, 95% of which used fracking. The study received funding from private foundations, including The Heinz Endowments.

Link: http://usat.ly/1oqIBdB