In the realm of producing potable water at a drill site, there are some options. Most will use hauled-in water as the source, which makes the conversion pretty simple. A couple of filters, add some chlorine and done. While this is a reasonable solution to providing potable water, it is not less expensive, it does not take trucks off the road and it still suffers from vulnerability if it is not monitored and automated appropriately. Therefore, some of these systems will work, and some will not. I’ve seen it before.
Now, to take a well water source at the site and convert that to potable water, this is a whole different ball game. This is not something you see every day, and for good reason. If a system is going to provide verifiable potable water, and is going to do it with source waters that can have suspended and dissolved contaminants, as well as biological contamination, then you better have yourself a pretty serious system, and it better be smart. There are some attempts at this that have had bad results. True, it’s been seen before and does not work.
I have worked on water systems to produce bottled water for nearly 30 years. Steelhead has been asked to produce equipment that could take any number of well and surface water sources and turn it into FDA approved bottled water. FDA standards for drinking water contaminant levels and testing frequency are both stricter than EPA standards for municipal drinking water. This is the world in which we design water production equipment. In addition, we often have to produce highly automated systems that have key critical monitoring points, to ensure that bottling lines running at hundreds of bottles per hour produce safe water. Controls are key, and it is the wheelhouse.
But how to transition this to the world of public water supply, and meet the necessary criteria for safe water according to organizations such as EPA, TCEQ, and OSHA? Have a top-notch professional engineer on staff that knows municipal through 30 plus years of experience in the sector. I had that in Bob Nicol, P.E., a built in Compliance Director.
But how do we provide assurance to end users that our system is actually doing what we say? Third party testing and TCEQ licensed Public Water Supply Operators doing independent site visits and testing, that’s how.
So, you have not seen this before … and it does work.