As the country begins to rely more on hydraulic fracturing—otherwise known as fracking—in an effort to displace our reliance on oil, a series of concerns related to fracking waste have come to the surface, both within the industry and for the public at large. At the heart of these concerns are two factors:
The fracking process uses an exorbitant amount of water, compromising fresh water supplies. This is especially troublesome in areas that already experience drought conditions.
Approximately 30% of the wastewater produced from fracking comes back to the surface of the earth, mingling with local water supplies and risking harm to area drinking water for people, agriculture and wildlife.
Bearing these issues in mind, new industry has sprung up in response to fund ways to recycle and reuse the wastewater that is being produced. This addresses both the concern over water consumption and the groundwater pollution issue. One of the key practices emerging as a leading methodology in the field is mobile on-site processing using dissolved air floatation (DAF). This eliminates the majority of suspended solids while killing 99% of bacteria to produce reusable water. Butterfly valves and gate valves are key to the operation, allowing the filtration of the contaminated water.
With these conservation tactics on the rise, the fracking industry may be able to reduce negative impacts on the water in the areas in question. Additionally, the use of mobile-processing services saves the company total water consumption costs, waste transport costs and waste disposal costs. It is a promising new avenue on all fronts.
Optimal function of safety relief valves can mean the difference between a normal work day and a catastrophe. Plus, performance issues can arise that compromise results if these valves are not regularly serviced. Here is a quick run down of when valves should be checked and serviced beyond when an obvious repair is needed.
Initial Installation Testing: Whenever a valve is first installed, initial safety and performance tests should always be a part of the installation process to ensure that the valve is functioning properly.
Scheduled Maintenance: Your valve service provider should inform you from the outset what the ideal maintenance schedule should be for your valve. You can also find this material in the manufacturer’s specifications that were provided to you upon purchase. The best way to make sure that you don’t miss out on a scheduled maintenance review is to build it into your calendar system as soon as you have a new valve installed.
Regular Inspection: Valve inspection should be a routine inclusion to your regularly scheduled site inspections. This is in addition to any valve-specific maintenance schedule.
Valve monitoring is now automated in many facilities. Computer systems can review and report on any critical issues, though wise manufacturers will not completely eliminate the human component of a double check using the above guidelines for testing, maintenance and inspection.
When Valves Require Maintenance or Repair
When you do find a critical valve safety issue that requires further action, it is typically a steam leak repair or a flange refacing. Mechanized diagnostic tools will determine where the malfunction is occurring and inform best next steps. Steam leak repair does not typically require a replacement of the valve itself. Flange clamps, flange replacement and direct leakage repair are employed to resolve the problem. If you are experiencing flange malfunction, refacing provides a new flange surface to reverse corrosion and other use damage.
Butterfly Valves: More Efficient in Functionality and Cost
When looking to facilitate a large valve application, you may be considering a variety of valve types, including ball valves, plug valves, globe valves and butterfly valves. Butterfly valves stand out as the best choice in many cases, particularly for large valve applications, due to the significant savings achieved in cost, space and weight by their use.
Additionally, there are very few moving parts in a butterfly valve and no pocket areas where fluids can become trapped so maintenance costs are comparably low. These valves are excellent for use with large flows of gasses or liquids, including those that are largely made up of suspended solids (such as cement or coal suspended in water).
Not Just Any Butterfly Valve
Here at Shan-Rod, we offer high-quality, custom-built butterfly dampers and gate valves that meet all ASME section IX welding standards. They are abrasion, heat and corrosion resistant and able to be used in a wide range of applications, from media transfer to isolation and venting. While many companies produce butterfly valves specific to low-capacity flows, we have the ability to meet even your high-pressure specifications.
If you need non-generic butterfly valve service that is customized to your needs, we’re here to help.