Whether drilling for oil or natural gas, groundwater contamination is a concern for mining communities. Reserve drilling pits are used to contain waste water from natural gas or oil drilling and can contain salts, sand, drilling fluids, chemicals and diesel fuel. These have typically been earthen pits dug on drilling rig sites. One solution to the threat of groundwater contamination is the use of geosynthetic drilling pit liners.
Preventing Groundwater Contamination
Depending on state and local laws, drilling pits may not be heavily regulated. Most states require liners, but some, like Texas and Oklahoma, do not. Rules do state that these pits cannot pollute surface or groundwater. Waste in these reserve pits can be an oily mix of saltwater, sand, drilling fluid and can contain diesel fuel and other chemicals. One of the biggest concerns of unlined drilling pits is leaching of the contents into the groundwater and soil surrounding the area.
Because most states require drilling pit liners, it’s important to choose the best material possible to further prevent contaminants from leaching into surface and groundwater, as well as soil at rig sites.
Drilling Pit Liners
Drilling pit liners can be made from a variety of geosynthetic materials. Each material has advantages and disadvantages. At BTL Liners, we fabricate geosynthetic drilling pit liners from reinforced polyethylene (RPE), which we believe to be the best liner materials for drilling reserve pits.
- RPE liners are fire resistant
- Durable and puncture resistant
- Able to be welded in the field from the largest panels in the industry
- Lighter weight than other geosynthetic liner materials
Drilling reserve pit liners provide an impenetrable barrier between potentially toxic drilling fluids in reserve pits and the groundwater and soil below. Using geosynthetic drilling pit liners helps protect the environment around drilling sites from contamination. Without high-quality drilling pit liners, the wastewater from natural gas or oil drilling can leach into the groundwater, surface water and soil surrounding drilling communities, which is bad for the environment and the inhabitants living around these sites.
Contact BTL Liners for more information about geosynthetic drilling pit liners and how they can help prevent groundwater contamination.