UTA Clear on the path to kill pathogens without chemicals

Background to this post is here. I boldfaced for emphasis in UTA Clear’s publication and share with you that of most concern is Lastly, these data identified a number of unique
organophilic bacteria that exhibited resilience to traditional disinfection
modalities. This phenomenon has recently been documented in chlorinated
groundwater (Martin et al., 2018), albeit the precise mechanism
and physiology for this survival under disinfection conditions remains
to be determined.”

Volume 634, 1 September 2018, Pages 1519–1529

Characterizing variable biogeochemical changes during the treatment of produced oilfield waste

Abstract reads as follows:

“At the forefront of the discussions about climate change and energy independence has been the process of hydraulic fracturing, which utilizes large amounts of water, proppants, and chemical additives to stimulate sequestered hydrocarbons from impermeable subsurface strata. This process also produces large amounts of heterogeneous flowback and formation waters, the subsurface disposal of which has most recently been linked to the induction of anthropogenic earthquakes. As such, the management of these waste streams has provided a newfound impetus to explore recycling alternatives to reduce the reliance on subsurface disposal and fresh water resources. However, the biogeochemical characteristics of produced oilfield waste render its recycling and reutilization for production well stimulation a substantial challenge. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of produced waste from the Eagle Ford shale region before, during, and after treatment through adjustable separation, flocculation, and disinfection technologies. The collection of bulk measurements revealed significant reductions in suspended and dissolved constituents that could otherwise preclude untreated produced water from being utilized for production well stimulation. Additionally, a significant step-wise reduction in pertinent scaling and well-fouling elements was observed, in conjunction with notable fluctuations in the microbiomes of highly variable produced waters. Collectively, these data provide insight into the efficacies of available water treatment modalities within the shale energy sector, which is currently challenged with improving the environmental stewardship of produced water management.”

“4. Conclusion
Collectively, these findings are the result of a unique collaboration
between scientists and engineers in an effort to comprehensively assess
the reusability of produced oilfield waste from UD, for the sake of environmental
stewardship. Shale energy extraction is a thirsty, multifaceted
process that is heavily reliant on consistent, and ideally
predictable chemistry, whereby a complete understanding of PW biogeochemistry
is required prior to it being considered a viable resource
for production well stimulation. As such, the exhaustive nature of the
measurements presented here, to assess the treatment of highly variable
industrial waste, clearly indicates that multiple treatment technologies
are required in order to remove pertinent organic, inorganic, and
biological contaminants below their respective reuse thresholds. The
organic fraction of PW (produced water) appears to be the easiest to remove, with a significant reduction in TOC and nearly complete elimination of prominent
hydrocarbons and VOCs being accomplished by ozone-induced flocculation,
particulate filtration, and passage through a primary carbon medium.
However, the persistence of several multivalent metal ions
throughout the different treatment modalities indicates that their removal
may require ionically-rich PWs be treated with a range of clay
matrices, which demonstrate high cation exchange capacities. In particular,
the retention of elevated levels of boron and iron indicate that additional
treatment modalities, beyond the scope of those evaluated in
this study, are required for complete removal of these potentially disruptive
ions. Lastly, these data identified a number of unique
organophilic bacteria that exhibited resilience to traditional disinfection
modalities. This phenomenon has recently been documented in chlorinated
groundwater (Martin et al., 2018), albeit the precise mechanism
and physiology for this survival under disinfection conditions remains
to be determined.
Supplementary data to this article can be found online at https://doi.

From: Zacariah Hildenbrand <zac@informenv.com>
To: kim feil <kimfeil@sbcglobal.net>
Cc: “Schug, Kevin A” <kschug@uta.edu>; Aaron Hoff <hoffa@trinityra.org>; Angela Kilpatrick <kilpatricka@trinityra.org>; Jim Parajon <jim.parajon@arlingtontx.gov>; Trey Yelverton <trey.yelverton@arlingtontx.gov>; Victoria Myers <victoria.farrar-myers@arlingtontx.gov>; Jeff Williams <jeff.williams@arlingtontx.gov>; Ph.D. Avner Vengosh <vengosh@duke.edu>; Buzz Pishkur <buzz.pishkur@arlingtontx.gov>; Jay Warren <jay.warren@arlingtontx.gov>
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 11:37 AM
Subject: Re: Frack Water recycling and unintended worsened byproducts?

Hello Kim,

Thank you for you inquires. Collectively, we now have a handful of studies indicating that traditional disinfection modalities (ie., chlorination, ozonation, UV) are not 100% effective in killing off resilient bacteria. We have seen this in both contaminated groundwater, treated city water, and produced oilfield waste. In the presence of contaminants and disinfection agents, bacteria can alter their membrane structure so that they become less permeable and harder to kill. As such, we are currently developing novel chemical-free technologies that will be targeted towards the lysis of particular pathogenic species.
Additionally, we have found a number of bacteria that can be utilized for in situ biodegradation of chemicals in water. Unfortunately we are just scratching the surface with this science but there will be a way for these helpful bacteria to survive in the face of the aforementioned targeted treatment, so that theoretically we could be metabolizing chemical contaminants and killing pathogenic bacteria simultaneously.
All the best,

Zacariah Hildenbrand, Ph.D.
Inform Environmental, LLC

6060 N. Central Expressway, Suite 500
Dallas, Texas 75206
—– Forwarded Message —–
From: kim feil <kimfeil@sbcglobal.net>
To: “Schug, Kevin A” <kschug@uta.edu>
Cc: Aaron Hoff <hoffa@trinityra.org>; Angela Kilpatrick <kilpatricka@trinityra.org>; Jim Parajon <jim.parajon@arlingtontx.gov>; Trey Yelverton <trey.yelverton@arlingtontx.gov>; Victoria Myers <victoria.farrar-myers@arlingtontx.gov>; Jeff Williams <jeff.williams@arlingtontx.gov>; Ph.D. Avner Vengosh <vengosh@duke.edu>; Zacariah Hildenbrand <zac@informenv.com>; Buzz Pishkur <buzz.pishkur@arlingtontx.gov>; Jay Warren <jay.warren@arlingtontx.gov>
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 10:42 AM
Subject: Re: Frack Water recycling and unintended worsened byproducts?
Thanks for the response.
I am on the steering committee for the Lake Arlington Village Creek Water Protection Plan and was trying to articulate UTA Clears work to both TRA and City Council members and have two more questions.
* UTA Clear’s work is in “developing therapies for the treatment of harmful bacteria (with the most common being Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Aeromonas hydrophila-Bacillus cereus group) in the water that are resistant to traditional forms of disinfection” such as chlorination. As these unwanted bacteria (biofouling) can create biofilms and corrosive agents that affect well production and can deteriorate infrastructures.
My new question is if your non-chemical treatments against biofouling agents are to be cultivating Pseudomonas stutzeri and Acinetobacter haemolyticus? As these being two specific microbes that “could be exploited for the bioremediation of groundwaters that are contaminated with chemical solvents. The two bacteria showed a capacity to degrade toluene and chloroform, opening up the possibility that they can be potentially used in the bioremediation of spills”. https://www.uta.edu/news/releases/2017/11/Schug%20new%20papers%20bacteria.php
It could be the proprietary nature of your contract may prevent you in the disclosure of exactly which microbes can degrade biofouling agents, but in all I applaud your work to refrain from chemical related produced water recycling that can worsen the toxicity (frack on crack).
Last year at EarthX map of events, I could not find where your presentation was being held until it was almost over but I caught the end of the female UTA Clear student’s presentation relating to microbes…I am just trying to clarify….
1) UTA Clear’s work with CWS (1st contract) was to vet their 5 fold system of cleaning up produced water that is to be re-used for production well stimulation does NOT contain added chemicals and
2) *CWS’ financial assistance (2.nd contract) is to further UTA Clears work in preventing biofouling with the use of microbes?
My confusion arises in thinking that the unwanted microbes that cause the biofouling can serve to clean it up can co- exist together? If so is it just a matter of adding more of the good bacteria (organic degrading microbes) to counter the bad?
Kim Feil


From: “Schug, Kevin A” <kschug@uta.edu>
To: ‘kim feil’ <kimfeil@sbcglobal.net>; Ph.D. Avner Vengosh <vengosh@duke.edu>; Zacariah Hildenbrand <zac@informenv.com>
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:53 PM
Subject: RE: Frack Water recycling and unintended worsened byproducts?


Based on our measurements, the total organic carbon was greatly diminished through the treatment procedure, and this measurement would include such compounds.  However, we are still working to add methodology specifically for such compounds to our routine repertoire, and they were not targeted specifically in that work.
Kevin A. Schug, Ph.D.
Professor, Associate Dean
Director, CLEAR (http://clear.uta.edu)
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
The University of Texas at Arlington
(ph) 817-272-3541
From: kim feil [mailto:kimfeil@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 6:41 PM
To: Ph.D. Avner Vengosh <vengosh@duke.edu>; Zacariah Hildenbrand <zac@informenv.com>; Schug, Kevin A <kschug@uta.edu>
Subject: Frack Water recycling and unintended worsened byproducts?
I was wondering how TTHMs and Halogens and any other frack-on-crack byproducts are doing with your non chemical water recycling treatments? 


Text Box:

UTA expands efforts to develop water recycling technologies

The Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation at the University of Texas at Arlingto…

“Trihalomethanes (THM) are a group of four chemicals that are formed along with other disinfection by products when chlorine or other disinfectants used to control microbial contaminants in drinking water react with naturally occurring organic and inorganic matter in water”. 

Last December in 2017 I sent our Arlington City Council information about UTA Clear’s research work in shale areas having a proliferation of microbes that were getting in to private water wells…https://barnettshalehell.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/bacteria-in-barnett-shale-evolving-to-being-antibiotic-chlorine-resistant-oh-and-biocides-risk-failure-too/

Now that north Texans are hearing about Trihalomethanes, it is time to go history digging into each town’s water records and look at the upticks and see if all upticks are related to the timing of those towns embracing urban drilling….we need to parse out urban drilling if this is happening in non-urban drilling towns and chock it up to population explosion and the need for adequate water resources that don’t need heavy cleaning up (chloramination) in the first place.

WHO WILL UNDERTAKE THIS? Any UT Arlington graduate students need a thesis?

It would take open records of raw data so as to note important info lost in averaging methods.

About Kim Triolo Feil

Since TX Statute 253.005 forbids drilling in heavily settled municipalities, I unsuccessfully ran for City Council Seat to try to enforce this. Since Urban Drilling, our drinking water has almost tripled for TTHM's. Before moving to Arlington in 1990, I lived in Norco’s “cancer alley”, a refinery town. It was only after Urban Drilling in Arlington did I start having health effects. After our drill site was established closest to my home, the chronic nosebleeds started. I know there are more canaries here in Arlington having reactions to our industrialized airshed (we have 55-60 padsites of gas wells). Come forward and report to me those having health issues especially if you live to the north/northwest of a drill site so I can map your health effects on this blog. My youtube account is KimFeilGood. FAIR USE NOTICE: THIS SITE MAY CONTAIN COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL THE USE OF WHICH HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE COPYRIGHT OWNER. MATERIAL FROM DIVERSE AND SOMETIMES TEMPORARY SOURCES IS BEING MADE AVAILABLE IN A PERMANENT UNIFIED MANNER, AS PART OF AN EFFORT TO ADVANCE UNDERSTANDING OF THE SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH EMINENT DOMAIN AND THE PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE (AMONG OTHER THINGS). IT IS BELIEVED THAT THIS IS A 'FAIR USE' OF THE INFORMATION AS ALLOWED UNDER SECTION 107 OF THE US COPYRIGHT LAW. IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 17 USC SECTION 107, THE SITE IS MAINTAINED WITHOUT PROFIT FOR THOSE WHO ACCESS IT FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE: HTTP://WWW.LAW.CORNELL.EDU/ TO USE MATERIAL REPRODUCED ON THIS SITE FOR PURPOSES THAT GO BEYOND 'FAIR USE', PERMISSION IS REQUIRED FROM THE COPYRIGHT OWNER INDICATED WITH A NAME AND INTERNET LINK AT THE END OF EACH ITEM. (NOTE: THE TEXT OF THIS NOTICE WAS ALSO LIFTED FROM CORRIDORNEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM)
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1 Response to UTA Clear on the path to kill pathogens without chemicals

  1. does Arlington have municipal water?

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