Landfill leachate : an alternative water source for Alberta oil and gas development

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Robertson-Baldwin, Kerry
landfill leachate
wastewater reuse
water conservation
water-based drilling fluids
The Alberta oil and gas industry continually seeks ways to reuse wastewaters within the context of environmental regulations. This thesis examines the use of landfill leachate as an alternative source to freshwater in the formulation of water-based drilling fluid. Key drilling fluid parameters of interest were accordingly compared to Class II leachate and freshwater samples. The concurrent data were also evaluated with respect to Alberta’s regulatory criteria to assess the risk to humans and the environment. The results showed that the reuse of landfill leachate presents several technical challenges and opportunities. Although landfill leachate quality and quantity vary spatially and temporally, its use nonetheless may positively offset drilling fluid chemical additives and freshwater volumes requirements. Adaptive and optimal designed management approaches would undoubtedly promote landfill leachate use by industry if adequately supported by enlightening regulations and reduced administrative burden.
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