Scientific Findings on Oil Wastewater
Oil Wastewater In Agriculture
A scientific report released in October 2016 by researchers at PSE Healthy Energy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of California and the University of the Pacific noted that additives used in drilling aren’t tested, as the current water testing procedures are not able to detect these substances, As of January 2017, Duke University is now in a multi year research project studying the effects of crops grown in oil wastewater.
California’s central valley grows 40 percent of the country’s produce and shares its agriculture land with oil fields. Farmers now face tougher water restrictions and heavy fines, for exceeding crop irrigation limits. According to the California Central Valley Water Quality Control Board, some 90,000 acres of crops are irrigated with this water. In the Board’s 2016 presentation, out of the approximately 60 billion gallons of water produced by the oil industry annually, about 16.3 billion gallons are currently used in irrigating our food. More than 100 farms in the Central Valley use oil wastewater in agriculture using it in the irrigation of their crops.
Since 2014, the oil companies reported using more than 20 million pounds and 2 million gallons of chemicals in their field operations, including at least 16 chemicals the state of California classifies as carcinogens or reproductive toxicants under the state’s Proposition 65 law.
Recycling oil wastewater in agriculture for irrigation use has been going on for decades. The oil field wastewater contains salts, oil and other chemicals. There are valid concerns about chemical contaminants, especially those that could result from the oil extraction process which uses many chemicals known to be carcinogenic, in order to maintain the oil wells.
Oil Wastewater Pollution and Our Domestic Water Supply
The researchers report noted that waste produced fluid from these oil fields is being used to recharge regional aquifers used in growing our agriculture crops and “can also be used for domestic water supply, including drinking water.” This report identified dozens of hazardous chemicals used in oil fields that supply waste fluid used to irrigate food crops and recharge underground water supplies in California.
Many of the chemicals used on oil fields do not have standard analytical protocols for their detection in water, so current water quality monitoring programs are not focused on contaminants.
Oil companies have submitted records for 198 commercial additives. But the names of about 40 percent of the chemical ingredients were withheld as “trade secrets,” so a complete analysis remains impossible.
Oil Field Wastewater Solution ~ Reclaiming Water As A Resource
Using systems of stabilization, dehydration, and dehumidification, the treated Class A bio-solids meet and exceed the governments EPA 503 Rulings and Regulations. The technology is available to treat oil wastewater inexpensively and efficiently before putting it back into our aquifers for agriculture use, our domestic water supply as well as drinking water.
Wastewater and sludge can be treated and cleaned on site using a closed cabinet, modular and mobile equipment. The remaining granules are ready for gasification to generate power and electricity. This saves time and money while working with our environment and treating a serious problem responsibly.