Do you know about wastewater disposal in deep wells in US?
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TOPIC: Do you know about wastewater disposal in deep wells in US?

Do you know about wastewater disposal in deep wells in US? 29 Aug 2014 23:09 #9934

  • Carol McCreary
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A recent newsletter from the US Geological Survey make reference to wastewater disposal in deep wells and associated earthquake risks. Since I'm unfamiliar with this disposal method, I wonder if anyone can provide more insight into this practice.

www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_sto...-earthquake-hazards/

Evidently USGS inquiries into the matter are underway. Here's an excerpt from the newsletter.

Induced Earthquakes … Research Underway

Some states have experienced increased seismicity in the past few years that may be associated with human activities such as the disposal of wastewater in deep wells.

One specific focus for the future is including an additional layer to these earthquake hazard maps to account for recent potentially triggered earthquakes that occur near some wastewater disposal wells. Injection-induced earthquakes are challenging to incorporate into hazard models because they may not behave like natural earthquakes and their rates change based on man-made activities.


EPA FAQs seem to indicate that underground injection of wastewater ("untreated hazardous waste") is now banned (although disposal of toxic tracking chemicals are not). www.epa.gov/r5water/uic/faq.htm

Still, I'd like to know more about this practice.

Re: Do you know about wastewater disposal in deep wells in US? 30 Aug 2014 20:24 #9940

  • Sowmya
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From a technical perspective, can the effects of wastewater disposal in deep wells be similar to carbon sequestration (CS)? The US EPA page on CS states the following:

After capture, carbon dioxide (CO2) is compressed and then transported to a site where it is injected underground for permanent storage (also known as “sequestration”). CO2 is commonly transported by pipeline, but it can also be transported by train, truck, or ship. Geologic formations suitable for sequestration include depleted oil and gas fields, deep coal seams, and saline formations. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that anywhere from 1,800 to 20,000 billion metric tons of CO2 could be stored underground in the United States.


If injecting wastewater into deep wells is necessary, a solution could be to use the depleted oil and gas fields etc., same as carbon sequestration.

Thanks and regards,

Sowmya
Sowmya Rajasekaran
Director
Verity SmartLife Solutions
www.veritysmartlife.com

Re: Do you know about wastewater disposal in deep wells in US? 01 Sep 2014 13:50 #9972

  • Florian
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Hi,

I think "wastewater" here is waste from the oil and gas extraction industry.

science.time.com/2013/07/12/deep-disposa...nked-to-earthquakes/

Regards,
Florian
Florian Klingel
Water and Sanitation Specialist at Skat Consulting Ltd.
Last Edit: 01 Sep 2014 14:13 by Florian.

Re: Do you know about wastewater disposal in deep wells in US? 01 Sep 2014 14:25 #9973

  • JKMakowka
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Not sure what Carol was referring to, but aquifer recharge using treated (!) waste-water (through infiltration/injection boreholes) is happening also in some regions.

Edit: see here for example: www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/3/4/964
Krischan Makowka
Technical Adviser at the Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET)
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Last Edit: 01 Sep 2014 14:40 by JKMakowka.

Re: Do you know about wastewater disposal in deep wells in US? 03 Sep 2014 18:31 #10009

  • F H Mughal
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While it is common practice to recharge boreholes using treated wastewater; and these are some cases of disposing toxic wastewaters through deep well injection system, I think Carol here would like to know more on relationship between the deep well injection system and the earthquakes.

F H Mughal
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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