AOP Clearwater Plant in WV a Big Success in Treating Marcellus Shale Wastewater

AOP Clearwater Plant, Fairmont, WV A lesson for Owego and Tioga County, NY from Marion County, West Virginia where a new wastewater treatment plant is a big success. The AOP Clearwater Plant is located just outside of Fairmont.

According to AOP Clearwater President Louis Bonasso, they have had no problems getting customers from oil and gas drilling companies in the Marcellus Shale. In fact, the trucks are “lining up” at the facility.

“We are a distillation-crystallization process, available to the oil and gas producing community in the area for clean-up of flow back and production brine waters,” said Bonasso.

Which means, the contaminated water is brought in on trucks, put through an extensive cleaning process, and pumped back out–as clean water for the oil and gas companies to reuse.

“We offer a very rapid unload-reload opportunity for trucking companies. Instead of sitting in line, we unload in about 11 minutes and we can reload in about the same time,” said Bonasso.*

Beside creating 16 jobs and bringing revenue to the county, there is this positive side benefit:

Through the cleaning process, salt is removed from the contaminated water and is able to be re-used to treat winter roads.

“All the salt that we produced since the plant started operations in November was sold in Marion County to independent contractors and the city,” explained Bonasso.*

*The State Journal (Mar 9) – AOP Clearwater Plant Open in Marion County

  • fracwaterguy

    Evaporation/Distillation/Crystalization is the only method that can treat frac flow back with TDS levels ranging from 30,000 mg/L – 170,000 mg/L.

    What type of energy is used to power this facility?

    In theory, using the salt from this process for road-salt makes sense. Not even considering the compounds frac companies add to water for a frac job, the minerals and salts that leach from the rock during a frac would be concentrated during evaporation/distillation/crystalization.

    Has WV tested and approved the salt for use as road salt?

    If this facility were to treat 400,000 GPD of 140,000 mg/L TDS frac water, it will generate up to 300 tons/day of salt.

    What provision has been made to store this salt during Spring, Summer & Fall?

  • Elizabeth

    I agree with the poster above. The additional chemicals that leach into the production water from the fracking process is a concern. The process of desalinization is time consuming. I do not believe they can process this water fast enough to meet demand. Storage may be a nightmare. I would still be concerned with the water table for neighbors of this facility. Toxic waste being trucked in constantly is dangerous, not to mention the fact that the roads in rural areas are not designed our built to support this type of truck traffic.

  • Jim

    Thank you fracwaterguy and Elizabeth for your comments. I’m not an expert (yet!) so it’s hard for me to comment about how much salt is being produced on a daily basis…but 300 tons of salt per day from 400K gallons of frac water sounds high to me. Perhaps someone from AOP Clearwater can leave us a comment on the salt, whether it’s tested, and how much of it they produce on a regular basis.

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