State water officials hear request for Harley Dome wastewater treatment facility
by Jeff Richards
contributing writer
Sep 13, 2012 | 1588 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Only a handful of people showed up for Monday night’s public hearing regarding a proposed water treatment facility located in the Westwater area in eastern Grand County.

The facility, formerly called Westwater Farms and now known as Harley Dome 1, plans to treat produced water from oil and gas wells and other industrial uses. Produced water is water trapped in or injected into underground formations during mineral extraction and brought to the surface along with oil or gas. At Harley Dome, the produced water will be transported to the site by truck and stored in holding tanks until it is cleaned using an injection well process, according to information in the application.

The facility is designed to treat and recover as much of the produced water as possible so that it may be used again. Possible uses for cleaned produced water include irrigation, augmentation, and hydrologic fracturing.

According to the permit application, Harley Dome officials said most of the untreatable water will be sent below ground via an already-approved injection well, with the injection water being treated first to meet state requirements and other guidelines. The permit application seeks permission to discharge any remaining unusable water into designated locations, namely two places on Coal Draw and one at Bitter Creek.

The Sept. 10 hearing at the Grand Center, which lasted less than a half hour, was conducted by John Kennington, water resources specialist for the Utah Division of Water Quality. Kennington was assisted by division employee Matt Garn.

The only person who spoke on record during the public hearing was Lee Shenton, the technical inspector for Grand County, who indicated that the county plans to monitor the pollutant levels once the facility begins its operations. Besides Shenton, only a few other people attended the meeting, including at least two other county officials and one newspaper reporter.

According to the documents associated with the permit, once the Harley Dome 1 treatment facility is fully up and running, operators will have two months to optimize the plant. After optimization period is complete, the facility will be required to sample the effluent and submit an analysis of any pollutants that may be generated. The project is expected to be implemented in phases.

Public comments regarding the Harley Dome 1 permit application will still be accepted until 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 17, at the Utah Division of Water Quality. For more information, visit the site or e-mail Garn at After the public comment period, the Utah Water Quality Board will then make a decision on whether to approve the application.

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