Altela Set to Open 2 New Frack Wastewater Plants in PA

Two new fracking wastewater treatment plants will come online in Pennsylvania on August 1st—one in Clarion County, the other in McKean County. As MDN reported back in November, Altela Inc. will use a distillation process to purify fracking wastewater, a “green” alternative instead of chemically treating the water (see this MDN story).

The new news is that Altela is almost ready to open two new plants using their green technology.

Altela Inc. plans to open two new water treatment plants in Clarion County and in Mount Jewett, McKean County, to distill frack water using a non-conventional thermal distillation technology.

The new plants will be joint ventures with Piney Creek Power Plant in Clarion and with Casella Waste Systems Inc., a Rutland, Vt.-based company. Working under the names Clarion-Altela Environmental Services and Casella-Altela Regional Environmental Services, the operations are expected to generate 20 to 30 jobs each.

The technology being used, which goes by the trademark AltelaRain, turns salty wastewater into distilled water by mimicking the steps by which the rain is created from ocean water.

"Our technology is not new. It has been around for four and a half billion years. So we clean water in the same way that Mother Nature has been cleaning water for a long time," said Todd Hand, vice president of marketing and sales.

The plants will heat up dirty frack water, then condense the resulting vapor. The distilled water will then be discharged into the ground, rivers and streams in Pennsylvania. Additionally, customers will have the opportunity to purchase Altela’s purified water.

The company is developing a proprietary method for disposal of the metal contaminants that will not involve in-ground injection.

The two plants are expected to open Aug. 1.*

*Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Jul 3, 2012) – New plants to treat shale water