Water Resources Engineering (WRE) connects engineering hydrology and hydraulics with global, economic, environmental, and societal issues. Our student Matthew Teitelbaum makes this connection here by looking at how the water that is used during hydraulic fracturing is affecting watersheds in the Pennsylvania Monongahela River.

The article on the news I’m covering is called “Sewage Plants Struggle To Treat Wastewater Produced By Fracking Operations.” I found this article on the online website Chemical & Engineering News, which was written on March 18, 2013. This WRE news article is a hydraulic news report, which talks about how water quality is being affected by hydraulic fracturing. This article talks about how the water that is being used for hydraulic fracturing is being reused in sewage plants and is actually affecting the water quality in the Pennsylvania Monongahela River watershed. The WRE facts in the article are the description of what hydraulic fracturing is and about what the EPA standard drinking water levels should be. But, the article left out is what the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is going to do to fix this problem.

Hydraulic fracturing impacts the environment and societal hydraulic domain in this area of Pennsylvania. Hydraulic fracturing in this area disrupts the water quality in the area, which affects the marine life and the water that we can drink. This article relates the WRE issue to the impacts of the Pennsylvania watershed area because of the problem it’s having with elevated bromide levels in the watershed from the reuse of the water that is used for hydraulic fracturing in the area.  In another source I found it explains how the wastewater treatment plants cant handle the high levels of contaminated water, causing elevated levels of chemicals to flow right back into the river from the treatment plant. The wastewater treatment plants can’t handle the high magnitudes of chemicals that are still in the water that is being reused. This is making the water flow right back into the watershed with the contaminated water.

 

References

Nichols, Duane. “Frack Water Too Contaminated For Sewage Treatment Plants.” Frack Check WV RSS. N.p., 22 Mar. 2013. Web. 29 Apr. 2013. <http://www.frackcheckwv.net/2013/03/22/frack-water-too-contaminated-for-sewage-treatment-plants/&gt;.

 

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