Fracking Wastewater May Contribute To Toxic Disinfection By-Products

Oct. 15, 2014
Halides in fracking wastewater can lead to the formation of toxic compounds during drinking water disinfection.

Fracking wastewater may encourage increased levels of toxic disinfection byproducts at downstream drinking water treatment plants, according to an article in Chemical and Engineering News. Wastewater generated during hydraulic fracturing can contain high levels of halides, even after commercial or municipal wastewater treatment, which can react with the chlorine and chloramine used to disinfect water to form compounds linked to cancer and nervous system problems.

A team of researchers from Stanford University obtained wastewater samples from a fracking operation in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, diluting it with water from rivers downstream to simulate the chemical composition of what a drinking water facility might take in, according to the article. The researchers treated the samples with chemicals used at a drinking water plant and determined, using mass spectrometry, that the samples had significantly higher levels of the toxic compounds than unaltered river water. The Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority also measured a significant increase in disinfection byproducts in drinking water in 2010 and traced the issue back to source water that may have come from wastewater treatment plants handling fracking waste.

Read the entire article here.

Sponsored Recommendations

Heat Recovery: Turning Air Compressors into an Energy Source

More than just providing plant air, they're also a useful source of heat, energy savings, and sustainable operations.

Controls for Industrial Compressed Air Systems

Master controllers leverage the advantages of each type of compressor control and take air system operations and efficiency to new heights.

Discover Your Savings Potential with the Kaeser Toolbox

Discover your compressed air station savings potential today with our toolbox full of calculators that will help you determine how you can optimize your system!

The Art of Dryer Sizing

Read how to size compressed air dryers with these tips and simple calculations and correction factors from air system specialists.