The City of Watertown, NY has voted to continue accepting wastewater (flowback) from hydraulic fracturing—but it’s not wastewater from the Marcellus Shale. This wastewater comes from a driller in Central New York—Gastem—who is drilling Utica Shale gas wells using hydraulic fracturing. Utica Shale is much deeper than Marcellus Shale and uses much less water to frack the well because it is vertical and not horizontal as it would be with a Marcellus well.
The city’s water treatment plant accepted 35,000 gallons of wastewater from Gastem last summer and discharged the treated water into the Black River. Gastem wants the city to treat an additional 80,000 gallons this summer.*
The volume of wastewater being treated in Watertown is miniscule compared to what is generated from a Marcellus well. But it is interesting that the city council has decided there is no hazard for the citizens of Watertown from treated frack fluids.
*CNYcentral.com (Apr 7) – Watertown to dispose of gas well fracking fluid