Birds Nest Aquifer Case Study

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not currently used as a salt water disposal area. The Birds Nest aquifer area that has less than 10,000 mg/L TDS can be used in the future as a salt water disposal zone as long as an Aquifer Exemption is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA Region 8 has jurisdiction over this area of permitting salt water disposal wells. “Wastewater injected into disposal wells may, in some circumstances, migrate to the surface or into freshwater aquifers” (Johnston, J, et. al, 2016). In the Birds Nest aquifer, the concern according to the UGS Special Study 147 (2013) are the gilsonite veins which can be inches in size to feet in size, fractures of the shale rock in the area, and the possibility of earthquakes due to underground …show more content…
Produced water can be treated and reused for many purposes. Produced water can also be evaporated in evaporation ponds or can be disposed using an injection well. The practice of using evaporations ponds can produce air pollutants and harm animal species in the area of reviewing the area. The preferred and best safe method to dispose the produced water in the Birds Nest aquifer’s location is by using the salt water disposal injection wells. Produced water is also used for enhanced recovery activities in the area studied. “Injection of the produced water at deep levels has better environmental and efficiency expectations than those for surface discharge methods provided that contamination of ground water is avoided.” (Al-Hubail, J., & El-Dash, K., 2006). Before injection wells are constructed, a permit application has to be submitted by the applicant through the correspondent underground injection control …show more content…
The Birds Nest is also located inside the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation. This study only covers the Birds Nest portion with a TDS higher than 10,000 mg/L. The wells studied in this research are salt water disposal wells. This aquifer contains more than 10,000 mg/L TDS. This criterion is considered too high in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. This aquifer cannot be used in the future as an underground source of drinking water (USDW). Injection wells constructed in aquifer areas with more than 10,000 mg/L TDS do not required an aquifer exemption since this aquifer will not be needed in the future and is more beneficial to be used for

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