The mining industry builds some of the largest and most complex groundwater storage lagoons of all. The industry expands with thousands of acres of new lagoons and ponds each year, especially as older and less well-designed structures are retired and replaced. A single mining facility, or processing site, can have more than half a dozen different lagoons and ponds to move wastewater through the various stages of storage and treatment. Here are some of the most common uses for groundwater storage lagoons in the mining industry.
Evaporation is a very common method. Evaporating groundwater reduces volume until there’s only a small amount of sludge or water to dispose of. These lagoons and ponds are open to the air to encourage the wind and sun to speed up the evaporation rate. Since the evaporation process often takes months or even years to reduce water volume, the ponds must be lined properly to prevent seepage into surrounding soil. The excavation must also stay above the natural water table of the site to avoid mingling of the groundwater with the stored wastewater.
Temporary and Permanent Storage
When it’s possible to reuse groundwater retrieved from an oil or gas well, it’s best to store it temporarily in a sealed lagoon or pond. In addition to liners to seal the base of the lagoon, these storage structures also typically need a cover to prevent evaporation. Permanent storage lagoons, designed to hold wastewater for years, are less likely to be covered since evaporation is the main volume control method available. Double liner systems, with sump pumps to remove any leaked water, are usually required for any short-term and long-term storage lagoons due to the risk of contamination.
Processing for Reuse
Reusing groundwater, that still has the right characteristics for fracking or lifting natural gas out of underground storage caverns, requires long-terms storage. Tanks are less common than lagoons or ponds since the tanks are expensive to manufacture in sizes capable of holding enough water for mining uses.
Some pond and lagoon structures aren’t filled upon construction, but instead, function as a form of secondary containment for another pond or tank. Groundwater that is highly concentrated or mixed with sludge is often stored in an enclosed tank until it can be trucked to a burial site or released into a deep well. Secondary containment lagoons must be designed to hold the volume of the tank or pond they’re protecting. Drains and pumps are also necessary to remove storm water periodically so that the containment area’s volume isn’t reduced by runoff.
BTL Liners has the liner materials to build all of these types of lagoons and more. Any kind of mining or gas and oil processing pond can be built with ArmorPro products. Discuss your plans with our experts today for advice on choosing a specific liner.