The Nova Scotia (N.S.) government says it has found a way to treat millions of litres of fracking wastewater stored in local holding ponds.
Nova Scotia’s Environment Minister Randy Delorey released a statement on January 31, 2014 explaining new filtration processes developed by Atlantic Industrial Services in Debert, N.S., close to where some five million litres of fracked water are currently stored.
The company has built four advanced wastewater treatment facilities that use several filtering methods, such as biox and membrane systems, reverse osmosis, dissolved air flotation, mechanical filtration, as well as ozone and ultrasonic treatments.
Delorey said the filtration processes can clean the wastewater to the point that it poses a “minimal risk” to the health of Nova Scotians and the environment. He said that independent laboratory results show the filtered water meets disposal guidelines set by Health Canada and the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.
“The tests, which were carried out by independent and accredited labs, show that the wastewater poses a minimal risk to the health of Nova Scotians and our environment,” said Delorey in his statement to media. “As an added precaution, we are exploring other testing options which we will share with the community.”
The complete lab results can be viewed here.
Despite the lab’s findings, released at a public meeting in Truro, N.S. on January 30, 2014, many residents at the meeting expressed their displeasure with the government’s pursuit of cleaning the fracked water. According to local media reports, many residents don’t want the filtered water or the fracking that caused it in the first place.
Another 20 million litres of wastewater are being held in two ponds near Kennetcook, N.S., where three test wells were drilled and fracked in 2007-2008.
The N.S. government has not yet given final approval to the proposed wastewater filtration process.