RADIUM FATE FOLLOWING OIL AND GAS WASTEWATER DISPOSAL TO SURFACE WATERS
Oil and gas (OG) production in Pennsylvania generates yearly billions of liters of produced water that has high levels of total dissolved solids, heavy metals, and naturally occurring radioactive material. When produced water is treated in centralized waste treatment facilities (CWT) and discharged to surface water it can impact water quality and cause elevated levels of radium activities in sediments. In 2011, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection requested wastewater treatment facilities to no longer accept unconventional OG wastewater. Our study aimed to (1) assess if the policy change in April of 2011, which led to decreased unconventional OG wastewater treated at CWT, also led to decreased radium activities in sediments and (2) characterize radium activities over a large transect (53km) both upstream and downstream of OG treatment facilities for evidence of watershed-scale impacts not observed in previous studies. We observed increased radium activity in sediments collected downstream of CWT facilities in both 2014 and 2016 and significantly (p << 0.01) higher average radium activity for 30km downstream of a CWT.
Katherine Van Sice (Primary Presenter/Author), Pennsylvania State University, email@example.com;
Nathaniel Warner ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Pennsylvania State University, firstname.lastname@example.org;