Thursday, October 18, 2007

UPDATE: What's Wrong With This Picture?

I finally heard back from the Tarrant Regional Water District regarding the post from the other day:

Steve,
Hi, I am the communications manager at the Tarrant Regional Water District. I was just made aware of your Oct. 14 blog post and related pictures of water being pumped back into the river near Riverside Drive. I have no idea where your original email inquiry landed, but I apologize you didn’t get it answered sooner.

We have researched the situation and this is what I can tell you…

To the best of our knowledge, there were no hazardous chemicals being put into the river at this location. The photos captured unused water being pumped back into the river. Essentially, the pumps that move water to the frac job can pull too much from the river at once, and these bypasses allow them to circulate the unused portion back into the river. The bottom line is this was excess water that never made it to the fracing process.

I hope this information helps to ease any public concern generated by the pictures. It is nice to know there are people out there who share our concern for water quality, and are willing to make us aware of potential pollution violations. We applaud those efforts.

Also, please feel free to email me directly anytime you have specific questions. I would be glad to help you any way I can.

Chad Lorance
TRWD Communications Manager


Below is my reply.
Thanks for your reply, Chad. One thing I was wondering about this issue: are permits required for this type of operation? If so, are these permits public record?


Although you explain that these pumps are just returning excess water that never made it to the fracing process into the river, are there any requirements on the equipment used for this process? Because the fracing process sometimes involves known cancer-causing chemicals, are there any guidelines in place to make sure that the equipment returning water to the river hasn't been used previously in the fracing process? My concern is that residue from hazardous chemicals could find its way into the river this way. What safeguards does the TRWD have in place to make sure this doesn't happen?

Thanks for your reply. I will be posting information about this on my blog later today.

Best regards,

Steve

I'll let you know what I hear.

2 comments:

TXsharon said...

Nope. No permits required. Water usage is wide open with no way to monitor it.

Wise County will have a Groundwater Conservation District on the ballot in 08. Our GWCD is written so that we can monitor oil and gas water usage if they are using a pump that is capable of pumping 25,000 gallons per minute. So, they will just drill a whole bunch of smaller water wells. =(

When SB 714 was in committee, Craig Estes changed the wording from shall monitor to may monitor which gives oil and gas an out. Mr. Estes will be at a town hall meeting tonight in Decatur. heh!

So, to answer your question, they do not file anything what-so-ever to do with fracing. No one knows how much water or what's in it. =(

yarddog said...

I keep asking Chad Lorance with TRWD to explain EXACTLY how TRWD knows the water being dumped back into the Trinity was clean. Did TRWD inspectors test the water, were they too late, did they take the drill site super's word for it. So many questions! My third try sent to Mr. Lorance again today.