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Hydro-Air Portable Aeration System Treats Water for Bacteria, Iron, and Hydrogen Sulfide


As produced water management evolves in unconventional oil exploration and production, a transition is developing from waste products to beneficial, reusable products. During this transition, the aggregation, and storage of produced water becomes an important first step. Aggregation and storage have also evolved from frac tank storage to impoundments and above-ground storage tanks (AST). Aggregation and storage have led to other challenges, namely water quality management. Over time, produced water can foul quickly, leading to poor water quality and potential odor problems. These issues have created the need for regular pit treatments, including adding oxidizers on a regular schedule. Insufficient mixing and UV degradation of commonly used oxidizers make this a potentially expensive process that isn’t always completely effective. A commonly used alternative is aeration.

A properly designed aeration system isn’t based on just water volume, but also water quality. Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) need to be tested to determine how much air is required to sufficiently oxygenate the water. If this information isn’t included, it is likely you are not properly sizing your aeration system.

Hydrozonix offers its HYDRO2-Aire process, which provides customized solutions for each application. Traditionally, you have an option of choosing diffuser-type aeration or venturi-type aeration. Although the capital costs can be similar, the operating cost of a venturi aeration system can be up to 8 times higher than a diffuser-type system. Alternatively, a diffuser-type system relies on passive diffusion and requires longer retention times to allow oxygen to be absorbed. Venturi systems have the advantage though when it comes to mass transfer efficiency. A venturi system can diffuse oxygen much quicker and effectively and does not need longer retention times. In short, smaller tanks or locations when retention time is short by 1–2 days, venturi systems will be much more effective, but in larger pits with longer retention times (greater than 3 days), a diffuser type system is much more cost-effective.

As a result, its HYDRO2-Aire programs utilize both types of systems to provide a suitable option for your application in both rental and purchase options.

Hydrozonix Portable Aerators Are Easy to Mobilize

Advantages of Portability

For semi-permanent water storage, permanent aeration systems are not cost effective because they do not increase oxygen uptake when water quality degrades. The portable Hydrozonix solution can augment permanent aeration or supply aeration in semi-permanent pits and above-ground pits. In addition, Hydro-Air systems are simple to mobilize, and a variety of sizes are available to meet aeration requirements.

Aeration Sizes

Hydro-Air Aeration System Applications

Pit management and treatment: In-ground ponds and pits can experience changes in water quality as bacteria grows. Portable aeration can eliminate this concern while improving water quality.

Produced water recycling: Produced water recycling can be made more efficient by using portable aeration as a pretreatment tool. Recycling produced water on crosslink gel fracs can require a homogeneous produced water source. Stratification can make recycling problematic on crosslink gel fracs. Aerating mixers can keep the produced water source blended to remain homogeneous for recycling on crosslink gel fracs.

Iron Oxidation and Real-time Bacteria Test Results

Figures 1 and 2 are examples taken from tests of Permian Basin produced water over a 7-day period using the Hydro-Air portable aeration system.

For a more technical look at how aeration can improve water quality, download our paper titled Aeration for Produced Water Management.

Iron Reduction
Bacteria Reduction
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