New Wastewater Treatment Plant Approved in Central PA

Narrowsburg, NY – The River Reporter (Feb 25)
‘Unauthorized’ wastewater hearing brings flowback feedback

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has granted its first permit to a wastewater treatment facility since new, stricter guidelines were recently implemented. From The River Reporter article:

The DEP has issued its first new permit for treating drilling wastewater to TerrAqua Resource Management LLC of Williamsport, allowing the company to treat and discharge 400,000 gallons per day of gas well drilling wastewater into the West Branch Susquehanna River Watershed.

According to the DEP, the permit requires TerrAqua to meet the proposed new regulatory standards of 500 parts per million for total dissolved solids (TDS) and 250 parts per million for chlorides and sulfates. TerrAqua has indicated that it will pursue a thermal treatment process capable of reducing TDS levels to less than 500 parts per million at all times.

The discharge permit also requires TerrAqua to monitor for radioactivity, a large number of metals, including barium, strontium, iron, manganese and aluminum, as well as organics such as toluene, benzene, phenols, ethylene glycol and surfactants.

  • fracwaterguy

    What does TerrAqua intend to do with the solids that remain after evaporation? If they process 400,000 gallons/day @ 140,000 mg/L TDS, they will have to dispose of over 230 tons per day of solids. If the TDS is 40,000 mg/L, they will have over 60 tons of solids per day. The energy costs of evaporation are extremely high. What type of fuel are they going to run this unit on?

  • janice hancharick

    Why isn’t this treated water (effluent) being put out to bid for drilling purposes? Companies need millions of gallons to drill.
    Throw in the word radioactivity to make neck hairs rise as a caution, but please include the amount of naturally occuring radioactivity the public is exposed to daily. They may not believe you though.

  • Fareinhite451

    TerrAqua is probably owned by the drilling companies, and all they will do, it what a normal water treatment plant does for sewage. Pre-filter, settle, precipitate, de-water the sludge, and clorinate. They will likely cheat on their results for the organics, because testing for these compounds costs too much. Maybe they will run it through a heater to evaporate into thin air, the worst chemicals. Prepare for the worst, is all I can say. Sell your stock in natural gas.

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