If you’re reading this blog, the odds are you’re part of the fracking industry and either work in it or having money invested in natural gas production. You probably also know that the Gulf of Mexico is one of the epicenters for natural gas drilling in the nation. The typical image many people get in their heads of a frac operation is of a cement pad with a tall, central tower that is surrounded by corn fields. Farm land is the traditional location for natural gas drilling and there are many concentrations of fracking operations in farming regions. It makes sense, in many respects, as the fracking fluid, flowback, and formation water can all be easily contained in frac tanks and then dealt with appropriately. So, when fracking is done under water, where does all this wastewater go?

Wastewater Has to Go Somewhere

Unfortunately, most of the wastewater from fracking operations in the Gulf of Mexico goes right back into the Gulf, affecting marine life and even individuals who make a living off of the water. With hundreds of active wells and thousands of different frac operations in the area, that is billions of gallons of wastewater dumped into the Gulf. While it’s not as simple as water being pumped down into fissures, breaking up rock and natural gas, and then the leftovers simply thrown overboard, many individuals have concerns about wastewater being put back into the Gulf.

Ships carry both crews and supplies out onto the water. Platforms are setup to mitigate the flowback and formation water from directly returning to the Gulf. The liquid has oil, natural gas, and chemicals removed from it before the rest is then thrown overboard. The argument against this process is that it takes very sophisticated and specialized equipment to return fracking fluid to quality standards for humans. Why shouldn’t we expect the same standards for the Gulf of Mexico as well?

Environmental Awareness and Alternatives

While it may seem like a somewhat difficult process, using ships and frac tanks to bring wastewater back to land and then processing it at the specialized facilities, like those owned and run by Waste Water Solutions, is an investment in the future for the Gulf of Mexico. Many different types of chemicals end up in fracking wastewater including radioactive isotopes, bromide, boric acid, and other unnamed chemicals due to trade secrets. Many of these chemicals are not only problematic for people if not handled correctly, but also for marine life. Spend the money and do the right thing for the future by letting Waste Water Solutions provide water treatment options instead of sending it back into the Gulf minimally treated. Contact WWS for further information about a variety of water treatment services.