Nursing Produced Water Back to Health in Texas

There is high demand for fresh water in Texas for both industrial and domestic use. This has called for the development of new water sources in order to meet this demand at a manageable cost. Oil and gas extraction processes generate large amounts of water. These plants are mostly located in dry areas with water scarcity.


The areas are experiencing high rate of population growth hence the demand for more fresh water. Produced water from gas and oil mines is an industrial waste by itself. It contains harmful substances that have negative effects to the environment and can cause ill-health to humans if consumed.


However, with the advanced technology, appropriate water treatment can be applied effectively to make produced water safe for human consumption. Currently, produced water recovery in Texas is one of the main sources of water in Texas due to the existence of many oil and gas mines.


The quality of produced water varies greatly depending on the geographical location, geochemistry and hydrocarbon produced. Typically, the total dissolved substances concentration range from 100mg/l to 400,000 mg/l. The common inorganic solids found in produced water are silt, sodium, chloride and bicarbonate.


Organic contaminants include toluene, xylene, benzene and ethyl benzene. These compounds determine the most appropriate beneficial use of the recovered water. Their concentration also facilitates the degree of treatment, type and cost involved.


Many types of technologies are available to recover produced water. However, the best choice of recovery method should be selected while considering the intended use of the recovered produced water. Each method can remove a certain degree of contaminants and thus sometimes more than one type of treatment applications may be employed for certain types of produced water.


Produced water can be disposed of instead of re-using it. However, this will be uneconomical as water must be treated first before it can be disposed of considering the strict environmental regulations. This becomes a liability, increasing the oil production cost. The only best way to cut down these cost is by utilizing produced water as an asset by treating, recovering and re-using it.


Produced water recovery in Texas is mostly used for crop irrigation in dry areas and during dry seasons. It is also used for watering livestock. Produced water is widely used in stream flow augmentation among other industrial applications. In oil extraction, water is injected in oil reserves to facilitate separation process. The recovered water can thus be stored in aquifers for future re-use in the mines.


You can dig more details about produced water recovery techniques, utilization of produced water, effects of produced water on human health and environment in general and other related information by visiting

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