North Dakota county looks to use brine for road dust control
MINOT, N.D. (AP) — A northern North Dakota county is preparing to use produced water from the oil field to help control dust on some gravel roads.
The Ward County Commission approved Highway Engineer Dana Larsen’s request Tuesday to purchase a brine storage tank and distribution equipment, the Minot Daily News reported.
Brine is water trapped in underground formations that’s brought to the surface during oil and gas production. The produced water contains magnesium and calcium chlorides, which are commonly used in dust control. Dust control is often used on haul roads, especially where the county transports gravel.
Larsen said some counties have already started using brine on their roads with successful results.
Ward County is looking to obtain produced water from neighboring Renville County’s well that is an older formation than the Bakken. State Health Department testing has shown the well’s water is safe when used appropriately.
The county could apply the brine for long-lasting results instead of continually watering the roads to control dust from large trucks, Larsen said.
Larsen hopes to get the brine facilities in place this year so that the county could start using the produced water next year. He said he expects the county to begin by using limited brine.
“We want to see how efficient they can become in putting it down, so there’s going to be a little test run to make sure we get it right,” Larsen said.
Ward County Commissioner Alan Walter voted against acquiring equipment for using brine. He said he’s already hearing from people concerned about applying corrosive chemicals on the roads.
The greater concern is to equipment handling the chlorides because the chemicals may sink into the soil, according to industry experts.
Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com