The FORT Frack-Water Recycle Process under Study for Northern WV

by Duane Nichols on July 18, 2011

Sweetwater Resources of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is still seeking to establish a frack-water recycling facility in northern West Virginia, as reported in the Morgantown Dominion Post on July 17th. At least three possible sites have been mentioned, in the northern panhandle, in Wetzel county and in Monongalia county, for the Flowback On-Site Recycling Technology (FORT) process.
The proprietary FORT process is intended to reduce to very low levels the suspended solids, free and dissolved organics and a range of heavy metals in the flowback water (but not the dissolved solids) from a shale fracking operation thus providing process water to recycle back into the shale formation. By recycling the process water, the costs of providing the necessary water and the resulting additional trucking it entails may be reduced. Primarily, FORT is a filtration process and does not rely on chemical addition or large sedimentation tanks, thus reducing the space and time required to treat large volumes of water.
A demonstration of the FORT process on a mobile treatment trailer is being planned to occur this summer, probably in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. The WV-DEP has been reviewing documents that describe the process, to determine whether a NPDES pollutant discharge permit would be needed for a permanent installation. Earlier announcements that such an installation was to be placed into the Morgantown Industrial Park are now regarded as premature.

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