When oil and gas companies dig wells, they cause surface disruptions and physical and chemical changes in the reservoir bed. Solids control separates useless drilling cuttings from the drilling fluid, allowing substances that harm the environment to be disposed of safely. At the same time, other solids necessary to the drilling process can be reused.
Costs associated with waste management, waste disposal, and materials like barite and bentonite necessary for oil and gas exploration are rising. A good solids control system increases the reusability of materials used in the drilling process, preventing them from becoming waste. Solids control systems reduce the environmental impact of drilling and lower costs for oil and gas companies. Every drill site has different conditions and requirements, so it is important to determine if a solids control system would benefit your operation.
What is a Solids Control System?
Solids control is used on drilling projects to help lessen waste production and increase efficiency. These systems separate solids of different sizes that appear in drilling fluids when crushed by drill bits and carried out to the surface. Solids control involves multiple steps that use several components to effectively remove solids and prepare the drilling fluid to be recycled. Drilling fluid containing solids moves sequentially through the following steps to remove increasingly smaller particulate matter:
Mud Tank: Drilling fluid is contained in the mud tank. The depth of your well determines the number of these cone-shaped tanks you will need. All other equipment is attached to the mud tank to facilitate solids control.
Shale Shaker: The shale shaker is the first line of defense that separates the biggest solids in the drilling fluid. It uses vibrations and screening panels to remove the largest of the debris.
Vacuum Degasser: Throughout the drilling process, gases can form and cause bubbles in the drilling fluid. The vacuum degasser separates the air and gases from the drilling fluid.
Desander and Desilter: The desander and desilter remove the medium to small-sized debris that the shale shaker was unable to capture. The desander takes care of slightly larger solids, and the desilter gets the smaller particles left behind. Sometimes these systems are combined and called a mud cleaner.
Centrifuge: The centrifuge is a hydrocyclone like desanders and desilters but is used to extract the finest solids from the drilling fluid. Once the solids are removed, the clean mud is recycled through the well.
Solids Control System Benefits
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There are various benefits to a good solids control system, especially for the oil and gas industry. They include:
Minimized Operational Costs: Using complete solids control units decreases drilling waste by 1.5 times the normal amount and reduces chemical reagent consumption by 15-20%. This results in more efficient drilling and reduced spending on chemical reagents.
Environment and Regulatory Compliance: Fewer additives in the mining process means fewer chemicals enter the reservoir bed, resulting in a cleaner more environmentally friendly operation.
Reduced Need for Additives: A 15-20% reduction in chemical reagents means fewer additives in the drilling process which lowers costs.
Reduced Waste: By removing solids in the drilling fluid and mud, less fluid goes to waste and ends up in landfills. Instead, the solids are removed from the fluid allowing it to be used again.
Improved Efficiency: Recycling drilling fluids and using fewer chemical reagents helps increase the overall efficiency of the entire drilling process.
Reliability: Fewer solids and gases in the drilling fluid increase the equipment’s reliability and mean fewer equipment malfunctions. Drilling fluid that is effectively cleaned prevents equipment damage and blockages, reducing the need for frequent repair.
Should You Implement A Solids Control System?
Solids control systems make oil and gas drilling projects more efficient and keep operational costs low, but there are some things to keep in mind when deciding if a solids control system is right for your operation.
Current Rig: Ensure that whichever solids control system you implement complements your existing equipment. Each part of the solids control system must be evaluated to ensure compatibility with your current rig system. Hydrocyclones and centrifuges must be correctly sized to facilitate flow rates.
Personnel: Do you have the personnel to maintain your solids control system, or is it cost-effective to hire them? Solids control systems require skilled technicians to achieve optimal performance.
Customization: Is a solids control system a good fit for your project, and is a full system required? Depending on the rig system, only certain parts of a solids control system may be necessary.
Solids Control Equipment at Triflo
A good solids control system is environmentally friendly and cost-effective in many cases. However, it is important to evaluate your current systems to determine if solids control would be an effective option. At Triflo, we are committed to fulfilling the fluid processing requirements of our clients in the oil and gas industry and we can guide you through the process. To learn more about our solids control systems, browse our equipment page orcontact us for more information.
In the construction industry, groundwater can create a host of complications that affect both worker safety and structural stability. Dewatering is a critical aspect of maintaining a safe construction site. Whether you are pouring a concrete slab or excavating a pipeline, dewatering improves your construction quality, decreases labor hours, and promotes worksite safety.
Since 1979, Triflo has been an industry leader in the design and manufacture of dewatering solutions for our customers in the construction industry. We offer outstanding construction project dewatering equipment for both surface water and groundwater in a variety of settings. Each of our dewatering plans is specifically designed to meet the particular needs of your site, including groundwater levels, soil porosity, site depth, and weather conditions. No matter how complex, Triflo works closely with site management to provide safe, efficient dewatering solutions for your construction project.
What is Dewatering in Construction?
Construction dewatering refers specifically to the removal of surface and groundwater from construction sites. Left unchecked, puddled surface water and groundwater can create dangerous conditions. Workers and equipment can slip in mud and pooled water, and excavated areas can become unstable and difficult to compact. Poorly compacted soil can compromise the foundation upon which the structure is built, resulting in dangerous long-term structural problems.
To prevent water-related hazards and quality control issues, professionals have developed a number of construction dewatering methods. Using pumps, wells, and combinations of the two, construction management companies can remove the groundwater and surface water from the work site for a safer, more efficient construction operation.
The benefits of using construction site dewatering include the following:
Keeps construction on schedule
Prepares soil for construction work by creating firmer ground
Eliminates unsafe conditions caused by unwanted surface and groundwater
Prevents contaminated water runoff into the surrounding environment
Construction Dewatering Methods
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Conditions differ from site to site, making it essential to choose the right dewatering method for your specific conditions. There are a number of dewatering methods used specifically in the construction industry. The three primary dewatering methods used by construction companies are:
Sump pumping is the simplest and most common construction dewatering method using gravity to do the majority of the work. Groundwater is allowed to collect in shallow holes, or sumps, at the construction site. The collected water is then pumped out of the site. Sump pumping is ideal for shallow excavations with highly porous soil and gravel.
For deeper excavations, wellpoint dewatering is more suitable. Wellpoint dewatering involves the installation of a series of shallow wells that run along the excavation site. Riser pipes connect each of the wells which are connected to a vacuum pump via a header pipe. The pump pulls groundwater from the wellpoints and the surrounding area, eliminating groundwater in the area in and around the excavation. Wellpoint dewatering is ideal for use in deeper excavations where groundwater permeates porous or semi-porous soil with high gravel content.
Eductor wells are designed for the deepest excavations and those areas where the soil is less porous with a high clay or sand content. High-pressure water is injected into educators at each well base which drops the pressure. The pressure change pulls water from the wells through a riser pipe, and out of the site. Eductor wells are drilled further apart than wellpoints, and multiple pumps can be incorporated into a single station.
Dewatering Precautions for Construction
Proper dewatering procedures must be practiced to maintain a safe worksite. When you are pumping large amounts of surface water and groundwater from a construction area, it is important to ensure that the ejected water is not eroding the site or the surrounding environment. Incorrect water drainage for dewatering can cause damage to the drainage plan and foundation of your site.
To select the right discharge location for your dewatering operation, adhere to the following:
Do not direct the water onto slopes.
Stop dewatering if the discharge area begins to erode or grows unstable.
Keep dewatering channels structurally solid and in good condition, with grass or vegetation to protect from erosion.
Do not release contaminated water, as grease, chemicals, and oil can pollute the surrounding environment.
Ensure that you have the appropriate discharge permits and that your dewatering operations meet local, state, and federal guidelines.
Do not dewater during heavy rain events, as dewatering methods will not work properly.
Construction Dewatering Solutions at Triflo
Triflo is a premier provider of custom dewatering solutions for our customers in construction and related industries. We understand the importance of safe and stable construction worksites, and we make it a point to stay apprised of the latest regulatory requirements and industry developments. It is our goal to ensure that your construction dewatering system is reliable, safe, and cost-efficient.
Dewatering, otherwise known as water control or solids control, involves the process of draining rainwater or groundwater from an excavated area before construction begins. This process separates liquids from solid material such as drilling mud, dredged slurry, and more. Dewatering is typically carried out by pumping from wells to lower groundwater levels, allowing excavations to be made in stable and dry conditions.
In this blog, we will discuss common dewatering methods as well as the many benefits and applications of this process.
What Are the Dewatering Methods?
There are several methods used to control water in an excavation project. Selecting a suitable dewatering method is crucial for the success of a construction project. Some common dewatering methods include:
This inexpensive, flexible, and easy to install dewatering method is effective under a range of soil and hydrological conditions. This method involves drilling wells around the construction area and installing submersible pumps in the well shaft. Pumps are then attached to a header pipe, enabling the groundwater to be drawn up into the wellpoints and then discharged.
Dewatering by deepwells is the ideal method when a large quantity of groundwater needs to be removed. This method involves drilling one or several individual wells and placing submersible pumps in each shaft to pump out groundwater. Deepwell dewatering systems have the potential to drain out water up to 24m in depth.
Benefits of Dewatering
Dewatering offers several benefits that guarantee a construction project is operating safely, on time, and within regulation. These benefits include:
Stable work area. Dewatering removes excess water from the work area to prevent hazards such as mudslides and equipment failure due to bogging and unstable foundations. Reducing these hazards guarantees a safe work environment for your crew.
Worker safety. Dewatering guarantees your crew is healthy and safe. Standing water can often become contaminated, which poses health risks for site managers, crews, and the surrounding community. Excess water also increases the risk of injuries due to slips and falls.
Keeping the project on schedule. Dewatering helps you to keep your project on schedule. Incorporating an efficient dewatering strategy ensures you quickly resolve unexpected adversities that could delay your projects, such as flooding from rain and unexpected storms.
Protection of valuable equipment. Construction equipment is quite costly. Standing water can impact your equipment’s working conditions and lead to massive damages. Preventative dewatering systems keep your worksite equipment free from excess water.
Less impact on the surrounding environment. Standing water can cause massive damage to the environment, including erosion and contamination. Proper dewatering techniques allow construction sites to remove toxic water and prevent it from impacting the surrounding environment.
Other advantages of dewatering include a smaller footprint on the worksite and the replacement of geotubes. This process can also provide water for injection wells, enables the reuse of water, and allows wastewater to be discharged to stormwater drains.
Dewatering Applications and Industries
Many applications and industries rely on effective dewatering techniques. For example, large wastewater treatment plants use dewatering to separate sludge into a liquid and solid. Other applications and industries that benefit from dewatering systems include:
Oil and energy
Pits from produced water
Open water drainage
Contact Triflo for Exceptional Dewatering Solutions
Many industries rely on dewatering systems to effectively separate liquids and solids, from construction and wastewater treatment to mining, agriculture, and more. This process is essential in ensuring safe working conditions, preventing contamination of the surrounding environment, and keeping your project on schedule.
If you need high-quality dewatering solutions or solid separation products, turn to the experts at Triflo. With over 40 years of custom manufacturing and fabrication experience, we can deliver solids control and fluid management solutions to meet your fluid processing needs.
At Triflo, our team of experienced designers can develop the ideal dewatering solution for your requirements. We also offer a range of environmental dewatering systems, which use a three-stage liquid-solids separation process to separate solids from pumpable slurries or aqueous streams. To learn more about our dewatering equipment and engineered solutions, contact us or requested a quote today.