ASTM to develop standard for fracking water quality

The US standards body ASTM International is to develop standards to be used by contract laboratories, water utilities and other requiring or developing methods for hydraulic fracturing in the oil & gas industry.

A new international Subcommittee D19.09 on Water – Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids is under the jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee D19 on Water. Developed standards will be used to assess water quality and determine impacts of a spill and possible contamination.

The new subcommittee will establish liaison with Subcommittee D18.26 on Hydraulic Fracturing, part of ASTM International Committee D18 on Soil & Rock, which was formed in 2012. In addition, D19.09 will work closely with the D19 Executive Section D19.90.04 to continue to coordinate communication with the US Environmental Protection Agency on fracturing water issues.

“D19.09 standards can be used by drinking water utilities that want to assess their raw water and determine if increased salts, radioisotopes or metals are present. Of particular concern are increased concentrations of bromide, which can result in the formation of disinfection by products during the water purification process,” says Richard Jack, North American environmental marketing manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and a member of D19. “Companies that desalinate fracking waters for reuse will need to determine the concentration of anions, cations and metals.”

All parties interested in developing standards related to hydraulic fracturing water are encouraged to join D19.09.