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The patented ITS platform is founded on a basic wastewater treatment process that has long been used to separate solids from waste streams - Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF). The process employs targeted chemicals to precipitate oils and solids out of suspension, and a physical mechanism to remove those solids from the water.
The ITS consists of three main units: one to control chemical dosing, another to mix the chemicals into the water, and a third to perform the physical separation of solids. Unlike many technologies being applied to the oilfields, the ITS has a flexible process that can be adapted to the specific needs of the formation and to driller preferences.
The ITS is sized to process 900gpm (31,000bbl/day) of frac water, all from the three trailer set-up.
Fracking one well can require anywhere between 1-5 million gallons of water. Current practice is to pull this water from fresh water resources, like rivers, lakes, and aquifers.
Moving water for one well can require upwards of 1500 two-way truck trips. This movement is causing major damage to rural roads that were not built for this kind of heavy traffic.
The current practice is to dispose of water that flows back out of a well. In 2012, this activity amounted to 730 billion gallons of water completely removed from the water cycle.
Drillers have been reluctant to recycle frac water because disposing of it has proven much more economic, even when they're paying to haul it over long distances.
Every well is different. Recycling technologies have to be versatile enough to handle the variance in wastewater composition.
Many states have laws that make it difficult for drillers to obtain the various permits required to treat wastewater. Often times they're still in the permitting phase for water treatment long after the well has been completed.
The most direct way to address the environmental concerns and give drillers a reason to recycle frac water is to put a solution in place that makes sense for everyone. That's the role of the ITS.
This is a conversation that we've voiced so much over the last several years that big industry players are beginning to adopt wastewater management programs and realize major economic benefits. More details on this topic in the whitepaper available for download below.