A subsurface drip irrigation system is being used in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin that treats high sodium, low salinity, coal bed methane (CBM) produced water with sulfuric acid and injects it into cropped fields at a depth of 0.92 m. Dissolution of native gypsum releases calcium that combats soil degradation that would otherwise result from high sodium water. Native selenium is leached from soil by application of the CBM water and traces native salt mobilization to groundwater. Resulting selenium concentrations in groundwater at this alluvial site were generally low (0.5–23 μg/L) compared to Wyoming’s agricultural use suitability standard (20 μg/L).
Additional Publication Details
Low salinity hydrocarbon water disposal through deep subsurface drip irrigation: leaching of native selenium
Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center