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What Is a Reserve Pit?

Tom PerkinsMarch 28, 2018Containment Liners

 

With 1.7 million oil wells in the United States as of 2015, the oil and gas industry is big business. One aspect of this business is the need for reserve pits to be dug and maintained near each drilling site. Reserve pits are storage pits that are used in oil and gas drilling operations. They hold mud and wastewater pulled up from the drilling site to keep it from contaminating the groundwater. They are dug next to a drilling rig and are commonly used to hold drilling muds and fluids in natural gas or oil fields. They are also called oil remediation pads, lagoon liners, oilfield pits, frack pad liners, drilling pad liners, or temporary storage pits.

 

In general, these reserve pits need a very special type of pit liner because they are used to prevent any type of contaminants from seeping into the ground. Because they contain oil and gas waste or byproducts, reserve pit liners are meant specifically to contain water or wastewater for energy industries (oil, gas, and fracking). Depending on the contents of the pit, the liner must be made from an appropriate material to hold that particular substance. Oil and gas byproducts contain more than just water – you need a liner that is specifically compatible with oil and gas byproducts. Oil and gas have proven difficult to contain because they are homogeneous with most liner materials (most liners are made from oil byproducts).

 

Standard PVC and polyethylene liners may be used for short-term oil containment, or for long-term containment of less hazardous materials. PVC and polyethylene liners are an affordable options for this type of containment.

 

For long-term containment of hazardous chemicals, the XR-5 geomembrane is the best choice. XR-5 is  one of the most well regarded oil containment liner materials in the world. XR-5 consists of a special proprietary blend of UV inhibitors along with hydrocarbon-resistant Elvaloy© to allow for long-term immersion in hazardous chemicals that would destroy most conventional geomembrane liners.

 

Reserve pits are vital to protect the drinking water supply while providing containment to the toxic chemicals and waste that are part of the oil and gas drilling process. Western Liner owner Shane Carter said that to protect the environment as well as the people living around the oil and gas fields, only the proper materials  should be used. “Reserve pit liners are vital to this industry,” Carter said, “and we aim to provide only the best products for their specific needs.”

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