The problem to be solved is the disposal of millions of gallons of production water (brine water) and flow-back water generated annually from the Rocky Mountain Region oil and gas industry in an environmentally safe, low cost, and efficient manner. A technology that is effective and safe is the evaporation of the water in lined containment ponds after separation and removal of the hydrocarbon component from the water. Three projects are the case studies for this paper, located near Cheyenne, Wyoming, Cisco, Utah and Dad, Wyoming. They were designed to evaporate
water in a series of geomembrane lined ponds.

The aforementioned projects are complete and have been operational for a number of years, and continue to be expanded per their permit. The production and flow back water from oil and gas wells in the area local to each site is trucked to the sites for disposal. The water is evaporated in ponds lined with high density polyethylene (HDPE) as the top layer by using a combination of factors that are favorable to the evaporative process.

Primary Author/Conference Presenter:
Neil Nowak
Project Director
SCS Engineers
Greenwood Village, Colorado, USA