Geosynthetics October/November 2021 - 32

Energy industries using HDPE liners for flowback water evaporation/recycling ponds
The project at Danish Flats was photographed
from the air on June 29, 2009
(Figure 2), when it was partially completed
and partially operational. The
water was distributed from the sludge
pond to the operational ponds. Currently,
more than 13 evaporation ponds are
operational at Danish Flats.
Operational data
At Danish Flats, operators have experienced
various quantities of water deliveries,
ranging from 10,000 barrels to 35,000
barrels per day. The water is moved from
the off-loading area through the sludge
pond and to the evaporation ponds by
gravity or via force main for distribution
to Phase 2. Each pond at Danish Flats
has a freeboard requirement of 2 feet
(0.61 m), and each pond at Bluegrass
Water has a freeboard requirement of 3
feet (0.91 m).
In Cisco, Utah, in July and August the
FIGURE 2 Danish Flats facility plan view
ambient air temperatures often exceeds
100˚F (37.8˚C), and it is generally windy.
The evaporation encountered during the
months of July and August 2008 at the
site was measured to be 15-18 inches
(38.1-45.7 cm) per month, respectively.
The Danish Flats operators observed very
favorable evaporation of the water and
measured the total evaporation for the
year 2008 above the estimate of 50 inches
(127 cm) for six months of operation.
In 2009, the Danish Flats facility
was measured to have 60 inches (152.4
cm) of evaporation, which took place
mostly between April 1 and October 31,
and again in 2010 the evaporation total
exceeded 60 inches (152.4 cm) over the
entire water surface of the ponds. The
deeper ponds at Danish Flats experienced
a 30% lower evaporation rate due to the
deeper water depth; therefore, the entire
depth of water was not able to achieve
warmer temperatures as did the shallower
ponds.
At XRI Buchanan, the top liner used
was a white color 60 mil (1.5 mm) thick
HDPE to reduce the evaporation relative
to the black liner, due to the facility wanting
to retain the water for reuse in the
fracking operations (Figure 3).
FIGURE 3 XRI Buchanan recycled water pond with white liner
32
Geosynthetics | October November 2021
Conclusions
The use of HDPE as the primary liner
in the ponds appears to be enhancing
the evaporation of the water. At Danish
Flats, the estimate of 50 inches (127 cm)
of evaporation per year was far exceeded,
given the 33 inches (83.8 cm) of evaporation
experienced in only July and August
2008; it totaled 70 inches (177.8 cm) for
2008. In years 2009 and 2010, the evaporation
rate was more than 60 inches
(152.4 cm). In 2012, the evaporation
rate was 42 inches (106.7 cm) from May
through August. The " weep " system was
an enhancement to increase evaporation,
which was not quantitatively measurable,
but may have been a factor in the
total evaporation. The deeper ponds at
Danish Flats experienced approximately a
30% lower evaporation rate due to cooler
water at depth. Similarly, the evaporation

Geosynthetics October/November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Geosynthetics October/November 2021

Geosynthetics October/November 2021 - Cover1
Geosynthetics October/November 2021 - Cover2
Geosynthetics October/November 2021 - 1
Geosynthetics October/November 2021 - 2
Geosynthetics October/November 2021 - 3
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Geosynthetics October/November 2021 - Cover3
Geosynthetics October/November 2021 - Cover4
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