Northland Industrial Specialties
September 14, 2022

What Is A Saltwater Disposal System?

A Saltwater Disposal system, or SWD, is a system that helps remove by-products from the oil and gas extraction process. What exactly does that mean? Extracting oil and gas can produce several by-products that need to be removed and refined before they become of any use as a product.  

A brine from oil and gas extraction is called saltwater and needs to be removed. There are strict standards for the removal of this by-product, and that’s where the Salt Water Disposal system comes into play. Extracting oil and gas produces more water than oil; one barrel of oil creates 3 to 5 barrels of water. 

Prior to the creation of these systems, oil extraction would leave salt scars on the land. It would affect groundwater and surface water and was the cheapest option. With the implementation of the EPA and the Safe Drinking Water Act, a new system needed to be put into place. This led to the creation of saltwater disposal wells. 

Saltwater disposal wells can safely be used for 15 years before being sealed. This ensures the by-product is safely stored away from ground and surface water. There are two ways that the brine can reach these wells. The first is through a long pipe, usually a mile or so long. The second is that the salt water can be trucked out and placed into the wells. 

Saltwater Disposal wells are classified as type II injection wells. The EPA has a classification system of six types of injection wells. Type II can include a few other things than salt water.

  • Water Injection Wells
  • Steam Injection 
  • Water-alternating-gas 
  • CO2 Injection 

Saltwater disposal wells make up 20% of the type II injection wells. There is approximately 144,000 type II wells in the United States.  

Northland Saltwater Disposal System

Northland SWD’s leave plenty of room for growth. There are a variety of options that include different types of offsite trucking options as well as onsite wells and facilities. The best part is that everything is fully automated. A variety of options covers the needs of every facility. 

Northland products utilize at least three working layers in their stainless steel piping. The products can cover the entire well site or injection device areas. These systems are in place to keep the area safe from leaking. Triple layers ensure no environmental damage during the transportation of the salt water from extraction. 

Why Choose Northland

Northern has a reputation for creating safe products that prevent soil from becoming contaminated. They are supported by staff with extensive knowledge and experience in developing their goods to be secure for everyone.

The fully automated systems can be set to help reduce waste. Choosing to reuse the saltwater that is produced during extraction can help reduce a carbon footprint. Saltwater can be reused in a few different ways. This water can be used for steam to create energy for your facility or can be treated and reused for injection. 

A Few Examples of Northland’s Work

Every customer is different and will have different needs. Northland is ready to meet those needs through its various options. Here are two examples of Northland’s work. 

Example One 

For this customer, a 10’ X 14’ skidded facility for offloading saltwater was built. For this project, only two offloading systems were needed to meet the client’s request. This project also called for stainless steel piping and fluid measuring equipment. The measuring equipment allowed for precise measurements of the salt water to be taken for the automation process. 

This project called for two 440 GPM pumps to be installed. These pumps moved the precise amount of saltwater to an SWD well automatically. No Trucking was necessary for this project as there was an SWD on site that could be used. Northland accommodated the customer’s needs and installed exactly what worked best for their project. 

Example Two

This project was a 16’ X 67’ skidded facility that housed two injection pumps in one system. This project required more than the first example, including a Horizontal Centrifugal Pump, Stainless Steel Filters, a Charge Pump, and Stainless Steel Piping. These are not the only components Northland offers, but these components were what best met the customer’s needs. 

Northland fitted this facility with an 800 Horsepower, 20,000+ BPD Injection Single Pump System. Everything that was installed was what the client needed and fit them best. In this case, the plant was able to double its capacity. 

Final Thoughts

SWD systems are an important component of the oil extraction process. Without them, large amounts of salt would scar the earth and ruin the surface and groundwater. Northland offers superior customizable products that help keep environmental impacts low and best meet the needs of its customers. Contact us today to discuss your project and learn the ways Northland Industrial Specialties can help make your next project a success.

Northland Industrial Specialties

Northland Industrial Specialties is a leading manufacturer of custom-made, modular facilities for industries ranging from oil and gas to renewable energy and modular farming. With over 25+ years of experience, Northland's commitment to delivering innovative, high-quality solutions has made them a trusted partner in energy, industrial, and municipal industries worldwide. Northland's wide-ranging expertise and customer-centric approach ensure tailor-made solutions that meet and exceed client expectations every time.