Winterizing with Waste Water

Some parts of the country have already been socked with the season’s first round of winter weather. And, snow and ice storms keep road crews busy this time of year making sure citizens can safely travel here and there.

According to a report in the Willamsport Sun-Gazette the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection may be looking to the oil and natural gas industry for help in making state roads safer this winter season.

The state is already using treated salt water that comes back from shallow-well drilling to treat icy roads. Now, the DEP is considering using the briny water that comes out of the deeper wells that are being drilled in the Marcellus region.

DEP limits the amount of the water that is laid per mile, per lane. And, the water goes through a treatment process to separate out some elements before it is applied to the road.

DEP spokesperson Kevin Sunday says they are finding more uses for the water, however, as they move forward.

"We are also looking at using it to stabilize unpaved roads. There has been some use of that already, on a case-by-case basis. Here, we are looking to provide a uniform standard for some kind of activity," he added.

The DEP says the water may also be useful to help control construction dust in the summer.

DEP requires permits for all uses and tracks which wells and formations the water came from.