CORPUS CHRISTI - Water used in oil fracking is not the cleanest stuff, to say the least. Soon it will be, however, thanks to some new contraptions on the market. A device by Arana Water Technologies turns water that looks brown and oily into water that looks a lot clearer.
The oil boom at Eagle Ford Shale has created countless jobs, from guys on rigs to third party companies. New on the market, however, are companies that want to conserve the water used in the fracking process and recycle it.
Bert Quintanilla with Hydro Enviro Clean, a company that cleans fracking water, said, "Most of the applications for water recycling has taken such a large foot print of energy to do that it wasn't cost effective."
All of that is starting to change, however. Companies like Hydro Enviro Clean and Arana Water Technologies are using their technology to separate the chemicals in the water from the clean liquid. Inserting an oxidant (similar to clorox) into the device causes all the bad chemicals to bind together and allows the good water to travel through a filter and into the next tube. A clear glass of water is the end result and although it's not clean enough to drink, it is clean enough to reuse in the fracking process.
It is estimated that the average frack well uses five million gallons of water. About 18 percent of that water resurfaces, filled with toxins. By recycling it, through a process similar to this one, frack companies can save a lot of liquids and a lot of money.
Richard Hay, Assistant Director for Water Supply Studies at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi said, "They either have to dispose of it, which costs money, or reuse it. We need to take advantage of all the water that we have here and conserve as much as we can."
With water as the hot commodity in this drought-stricken state, recycling it in this South Texas oil boom could only be a good thing.
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