Water Briefs

News from the nation.


CSSD Expands Wastewater Treatment Performance Standard

The Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD), a collaboration of environmental organizations and energy companies encouraging the development of shale gas resources in the Appalachian region, has expanded its wastewater Performance Standard 1 to address the treatment of shale wastewater at permitted facilities.

The standard represents the culmination of a year-long effort by a working group of stakeholders from industry and NGO participating organizations to address conditions necessary for safe surface discharge of treated shale wastewater.

The original standard identified recycling and underground injection as acceptable methods of managing produced water and recognized that there was also a need to address methods of wastewater treatment and discharge. For this reason, it contained a commitment that the group would address wastewater treatment by the fall of 2014.

Based on a review of existing permits and technologies, CSSD determined that the best available treatment technology currently in operation involves a combination of distillation and biological treatment and, as necessary, reverse osmosis.

The expanded standard allows operators to use CWT facilities that utilize technologies or combinations of technologies other than those identified on the condition that they demonstrate they can achieve equivalent or superior treatment.


Commercial Truck Fill Stations to Use Recycled Water

In an effort to conserve drinking water in California, the Environmental Services Department representing the city of San José is apportioning recycled water from its South Bay Water Recycling (SBWR) system and making it available at truck fill stations.

The project will supply water for construction trucks that spray water to minimize dust at construction sites, city trucks that perform sewer cleanouts and street-sweeping trucks that mist the street surface as they sweep.

SBWR is San José's recycled water wholesaler, serving the city along with Santa Clara and Milpitas, through retailers who deliver recycled water for approved uses including commercial and civic irrigation; industrial cooling towers; flushing toilets in dual-plumbed commercial buildings; and now, water truck uses. Seven filling stations are now operational in San José, and five recycled water filling stations are available in the Milpitas area. A filling station in Santa Clara is planned to open sometime in 2015.


Revised Rulemaking for Performance Standards at PA Oil & Gas Well Sites

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has officially announced the latest draft revisions of the Environmental Protection Performance Standards at oil and gas well sites across the state.

The latest revisions contribute to DEP's effort of continuing to modernize and strengthen the environmental controls employed by the industry to assure the protection of the environment, water resources and public safety.

The proposed amendments to Chapter 78 address surface activities at oil and gas well sites and center on five core areas. The regulation amendments are proposed to:

  • Improve protection of water resources
  • Add public resources considerations
  • Protect public safety
  • Address landowner concerns
  • Enhance transparency and improve data management

"These areas reflect the emphasis of the comments we received," said Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley. "We received more than 24,000 comments and want to be deliberate and transparent as we seek continued input on the proposed revisions from our advisory committees and the public."


Texas Beef Plant Awarded for Conservation Efforts

The Texas Water Foundation (TWF), a non-profit educational organization dedicated to optimizing water use throughout the state, presented its annual Blue Legacy Award to a Friona, Texas, beef processing facility owned and operated by Cargill, a global food, agriculture, financial, and industrial products and services provider.

TWF's Blue Legacy Award is presented to utilities that have demonstrated outstanding and innovative commitment to Texas's mission of promoting responsible management of water resources as well as conservation of the state's water resources.

Friona is located in the Texas Panhandle and sits atop the Ogallala Aquifer, covering 174,000 square miles across portions of South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.

The aquifer has been stressed by population growth, agricultural irrigation, industrial use, and drought. During the past six years, Cargill's Friona beef processing plant has reduced water use by 23 percent, saving more than 150 million gallons annually.

Treated water from the plant is also provided to local farmers, reducing their need for water from the aquifer. The plant team has also created methods for capturing water used in heat exchangers and other equipment that can be reused for exterior plant cleaning.


Water Reuse Enables PA Power Plant to Save 1.3 MGD of Drinking Water

Covanta's Delaware Valley energy-from-waste facility, located in the city of Chester, Pa., has saved 1.3 million gallons per day (MGD) from local water supplies by installing advanced water reuse technology from GE.

Covanta Delaware Valley upgraded the facility by installing GE's RePAK combination ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) system as a tertiary treatment package. The new system enabled the plant to reuse the 1.3 MGD of treated discharge water from a nearby municipal wastewater treatment plant for cooling purposes.

The Chester facility generates up to 90 megawatts of clean energy from 3,510 tons per day of municipal solid waste. Previously, the plant used 1.3 MGD -- or nearly 5 million liters per day -- of municipal drinking water in its waste conversion process, costing the company thousands of dollars in daily water purchases.

With the new system, Covanta Delaware Valley has eliminated the daily water purchase, resulting in a substantial financial savings in addition to favorable environmental benefits.


SUEZ Acquires Poseidon, B&V Group

In an effort to expand its industrial activity and reinforce solutions for industrial clients around the globe, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT has acquired Poseidon Inc., a Canadian company specializing in separation systems for industrial water treatment, as well as B&V Group, a British company specializing in water treatment chemicals, equipment and services.

Based in Canada, Poseidon is a full-service equipment supplier that designs and manufactures a range of state-of-the-art, compact separator systems by flotation for industrial water treatment. The company's portfolio of proprietary technologies encompasses wastewater and process water treatment with solutions spanning numerous industrial sectors, most notably in oil & gas, pulp & paper and food & beverage.

Based in the UK, B&V Group manufactures and commercializes conditioning products and technical services for water-related infrastructure, including cooling circuits, boiler systems and effluent treatment. The company also supplies equipment, tailor-made engineering, and services linked to legionella risks and microbial control problems. B&V has positions with facilities management in healthcare, food & beverage, petrochemical, and power industries.


EPA Aims to Strengthen U.S. Oil Spill Response, Preparedness

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to amend requirements of Subpart J under the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) to improve the nation's ability to plan for and respond to oil spills. The proposal addresses issues raised by the public, responders, government, and industry officials in relation to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

EPA is also proposing product chemical ingredient disclosure options and new evaluation criteria as well as a process for removing products from the Product Schedule. The proposed Subpart J revisions include:

  • New and revised product toxicity and efficacy test methodologies for dispersants and other chemical and biological agents
  • New toxicity and efficacy criteria for listing agents on the Subpart J Product Schedule
  • Additional human health and safety information requirements from manufacturers
  • Revised area planning requirements for chemical and biological agent use authorization
  • New dispersant monitoring requirements when used on certain oil discharges

Dispersant manufacturers will be able to use a new, well-tested and peer-reviewed laboratory method for determining the effectiveness of their dispersant on two types of crude oils at two temperatures measured against proposed performance criteria. The Agency is also proposing an aquatic toxicity threshold such that products that meet both the performance and toxicity criteria will offer greater performance at less environmental impact.


Industrial Plants Spending $18B Annually for Flow Control, Treatment

According to the McIlvaine Company, industry in the U.S. is expanding due to the rising economy, and the heavy industrial sector is showing high growth due to the low cost of energy. Further, annual purchases of liquid (including water and process fluids) flow control and treatment products and services are expected to exceed $18 billion per year.

The largest investment in flow and treatment is due to the recirculation of liquids for process and cooling purposes. This can amount to more than 5,000 MGD in a number of industries. Also, there are more than 1,000 large industrial boilers with substantial treatment systems to purify the water needed for steam generation. Most of these have closed loops with condensate return. A number of smaller industrial boilers also utilize water for steam production but recirculate less water and, therefore, need less purification to avoid concentrating contaminants.

McIlvaine's "Industrial Water: Plants and Projects" report tracks various activities at more than 20,000 plants, which are segmented into 100 industry categories.


Dan River in Good Condition After 2014 Duke Energy Coal Ash Spill

According to research conducted by leading universities, regulators and industry experts, the Dan River -- which flows 214 miles across the states of North Carolina and Virginia -- is now in good condition one year after a major coal ash spill occurred at the Dan River Steam Station.

In late January, Duke Energy President Paul Newton joined local leaders from the city of Eden and Rockingham County to share ongoing findings -- including thousands of water and sediment samples, detailed studies of aquatic life and evaluation by state and federal regulators -- that indicate the river is thriving.

Since the spill, Duke Energy has conducted a major operation to excavate and monitor coal ash in the river. The company has also performed thousands of tests from the plant to Kerr Lake in partnership with state and federal agencies to study ongoing conditions in the river.


Control System Integrators Association Shows Substantial Five-Year Growth

The Control System Integrators Association (CSIA), the only global and non-profit trade association for system integrators, has announced that it is marking a five-year period of sustained growth, where members continue to be sought as qualified, reliable experts in the automation industry. Since 2009, CSIA has experienced annual increases in overall membership and revenue.

CSIA's progress comes as the U.S. economy marks another consecutive month of growth, according to the latest Manufacturing Institute for Supply Management's "Report on Business." The survey of manufacturing supply managers shows that industries served by CSIA's members, such as food and beverage, metals, petroleum, and chemicals, are seeing an increase in orders for exports and a rise in employment.

As CSIA grows, the association is improving services for members and industry clients, especially with the recent launch of the Industrial Automation Exchange. CSIA created the Exchange website to better connect system integrators and suppliers with those who are looking for automation solutions.


AZ Pulp and Paper Manufacturer Doubles Purification Capacity

In 2014, Arizona-based paper manufacturer Doubletree Paper Mills launched a new state-of-the-art water treatment system for its expanded manufacturing operation in the town of Gila Bend.

The integrated system, supplied by Desalitech -- a Boston, Mass.-based provider of high-efficiency water production and wastewater treatment solutions -- is increasing the paper manufacturer's water production capacity by 100 percent to 400 gallons per minute while drastically reducing its wastewater production and energy use.

Doubletree previously treated groundwater pumped from a well to the plant with a conventional reverse osmosis (RO) system at a water recovery rate of 75 percent, producing 50 gallons of wastewater from every 200 gallons of raw water fed to the system.

The environmentally conscious company replaced its existing conventional RO units with Desalitech ReFlex RO systems featuring closed-circuit desalination (CCD) technology.

This new installation boosts water recovery on Doubletree's high-purity process water stream to 90 percent, reducing wastewater production by almost a factor of three while reducing energy use by nearly 25 percent.


OVIVO Inks Deal to Supply Equipment to Euro Petrochem Plant

Ovivo Inc., a global company dedicated to water and wastewater treatment, has been awarded a contract for $8.7 million USD (over $11 million CAD) to supply a complete demineralization system for a petrochemical plant in Europe.

The system is part of a combined cycle power plant that will have the flexibility to feed electricity into the national power grid, as well as to supply the facility with process steam and electricity. The equipment is scheduled for delivery in 2016.


MBR Upgrade to Help Cruise Ship Meet Requirements

One of the world's major cruise ships, the Queen Mary 2, is being fitted with a membrane bioreactor (MBR) wastewater treatment system from Wärtsilä Hamworthy to help meet International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements for ship pollution. The two MBR 16 systems will facilitate the management and treatment of both gray and black wastewater.


Hong Kong Investors Support Dais Analytic Involvement in China

Hong Kong's SAGE Technology Investment and JHSE Technology Investment have announced an equity investment in Dais Analytic Corporation, a U.S.-based commercial nanotechnology materials and process company; the creation of Dais New Energy Technology Co.; and a $60-million contract commitment to support the growth of Dais' products in Greater China.

China is facing large challenges in the air, water and energy storage arenas that require new and innovative solutions. As a result of these unprecedented market needs, China has established itself as a world leader in implementing new technologies to address challenges regarding sustainability.

The Chinese market, under the leadership of its new government, provides support for emerging technologies needed to meet these needs. Dais' nanomaterial and engineering processes offer proven disruptive products possessing higher end-user value proposition in key areas such as energy efficiency and lower CO2 emissions, or hazardous effluent discharges.

SAGE and its partners studied products from various global companies in order to address solutions to China's challenges before deciding upon Dais' powerhouse technology platform. These products, coupled with an expert team, represents the capability of becoming a strong channel player in China, in South East Asia and worldwide.


USGS Publishes Historical Hydraulic Fracturing Trends and Data

Two new publications from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) highlight historical hydraulic fracturing (fracking) trends and data from 1947 to 2010.

This national analysis of data on nearly 1 million fracked wells and 1.8 million fracturing treatment records is used to identify fracking trends in drilling methods and use of proppants (sand or similar material suspended in water or other fluid to keep fissures open), treatment fluids, additives, and water in the United States.

These trends are compared to peer-reviewed literature in an effort to establish a common understanding of the differences in fracking and provide a context for understanding the costs and benefits of increased oil and gas production. The publications also examine how newer technology has affected the amount of water needed for the process and where fracking has occurred at different points in time.

These datasets also illustrate the rapid expansion of water-intensive horizontal/directional drilling that has increased from 6 percent of new fracked wells drilled in the United States in 2000 to 42 percent of new wells drilled in 2010. Increased horizontal drilling also coincided with the emergence of water-based "slick water" fracturing fluids.


Peace Project Targets Better Groundwater Protection for Northeast BC

With its project partners, Geoscience BC, a non-profit organization with the purpose of attracting mineral and oil & gas investment to British Columbia (BC), Canada, has announced its new Peace Project. The Peace Project represents a collaborative effort that will generate new information about groundwater in Northeast BC's Peace Region.

Peace Project partners include the BC Oil and Gas Commission, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers through the Science and Community Environmental Knowledge fund, ConocoPhillips Canada, Progress Energy Canada Ltd., the Province of British Columbia, and the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT).

The Peace Project will produce sound technical knowledge of the region's shallow aquifers to facilitate effective groundwater protection. To achieve this, Phase I includes a new airborne geophysical survey that will launch this year and cover 8,000 square kilometers within the Peace Region of Northeast BC, stretching northwest from Hudson's Hope and Fort St. John to past Pink Mountain. The survey will collect data to a depth of 300 meters below the earth's surface, which can then be used to produce maps of shallow aquifer distribution, quantity and quality.


Siemens to Supply Turbines for Combined-Cycled Power Plant

Siemens is supplying two gas turbines and one steam turbine for the Holland Energy Park combined-cycle power plant to be constructed in the city of Holland, Mich. The local municipal utility, Holland Board of Public Works, is replacing a coal-fired plant with the new fuel-efficient modern power plant, which will generate approximately 125 megawatts in the summer and 145 in the winter.

With the new Siemens technology, the CO2 emissions at the site will be reduced by approximately 50 percent. A special feature of the plant is the use of surplus heat from the circulating water system for use in expanding a downtown snowmelt system.

Siemens' scope of supply includes two SGT-800 gas turbines and one SST-400 steam turbine. The company will also provide a long-term service contract for the SGT-800 turbines. The new plant's co-generation capabilities will provide it with an extremely high fuel-efficiency level.

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