The Problem of Wastewater in Shale Gas Exploitation The Influence of Fracturing Flowback Water on Activated Sludge at a Wastewater Treatment Plant
Maria Bartoszewicz2, Małgorzata Michalska2, Monika Cieszyńska-Semenowicz1, Radosław Czernych1, Lidia Wolska1
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1Medical University of Gdansk, Department of Environmental Toxicology
2Medical University of Gdansk, Department of Immunobiology and Environmental Microbiology
Marii Skłodowskiej-Curie 3A, 80-210 Gdańsk, Poland
Submission date: 2016-02-01
Final revision date: 2016-04-11
Acceptance date: 2016-04-12
Publication date: 2016-10-05
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2016;25(5):1839–1845
Shale gas exploitation by hydraulic fracturing involves a number of environmental hazards, among which the neutralization and management of fracturing flowback waters is of particular importance. Chemical compounds present in the flowback water mainly constitute a threat to surface waters. The aim of our research was to determine the effects of these compounds on the state of activated sludge in a wastewater treatment plant employing biological treatment processes. Based on the obtained results, it was concluded that prior to the transfer of flowback water to a biological wastewater treatment system, it should be diluted with fresh water to lower the chloride ion concentration to the level of 1,000 mg Cl-/dm3. Although such a procedure would ensure the proper performance of a biological wastewater treatment system, it would not limit the migration of phthalates and thihalomethanes to surface waters.