Frac Water Treatment Process


The process of treating frac water to create recyclable products and protect the environment is completed in three stages. 

Stage One - Pretreatment

Frac water that enters a SWS water treatment facility will be stored initially in a tank(s) where it will be tested for chemical composition and suspended solid content. The water will then be run through a pretreatment system to remove particulates and elements, such as barium, naturally occurring radioactive minerals (NORMs) and organic materials. The sludge containing these particulates and precipitates will go to a filter press, and the filtrate sludge will be disposed at a landfill. Some heavy metals and mineral compounds will be separated for possible reuse/recycling as appropriate. SWS will design its pretreatment system to process water at a target rate of 300 gallons per minute (GPM). 

Stage Two - Concentrating Pretreated Water

Water that has been pretreated will flow into a concentrator.  The concentrator system will also be designed to handle 300 GPM.

The main goal of the concentrator will be to concentrate the total dissolved solids (TDS) into a smaller amount of fluid prior to entry into the crystallizer plant.  Water that enters the concentrator will be separated into distilled water and high TDS water.  The relative volume of each of these components depends on the initial TDS.  The distilled water will be returned to the natural gas producer for reuse and the concentrate will be sent on to the crystallizer. 

Stage Three - Crystallizer (Desalinization Plant)

This is the final stage of the water treatment program. The concentrator will feed the crystallizer a solution with a very high content of TDS, preferably over 200,000 PPM. This brine will be fed to the crystallizer at a target rate of 100 gpm.  The crystallizer will then process this high TDS water into the following products:


  • Distilled water between 50 and 250 TDS. This water could be returned to the natural gas producer.

  • Salt products (99.7% purity), such as, water softening applications, pool salt, and animal agricultural applications.

  • Calcium products- used primarily for road stabilization/dust control and road de-icing with additional uses in the natural gas drilling process.


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