Accumulation of Marcellus Formation Oil and Gas Wastewater Metals in Freshwater Mussel Shells

Thomas J. Geeza, David P. Gillikin, Bonnie McDevitt, Katherine Van Sice, Nathaniel Richard Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For several decades, high-salinity water brought to the surface during oil and gas (O&G) production has been treated and discharged to waterways under National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. In Pennsylvania, USA, a portion of the treated O&G wastewater discharged to streams from 2008 to 2011 originated from unconventional (Marcellus) wells. We collected freshwater mussels, Elliptio dilatata and Elliptio complanata, both upstream and downstream of a NPDES-permitted facility, and for comparison, we also collected mussels from the Juniata and Delaware Rivers that have no reported O&G discharge. We observed changes in both the Sr/Cashell and 87Sr/86Srshell in shell samples collected downstream of the facility that corresponded to the time period of greatest Marcellus wastewater disposal (2009-2011). Importantly, the changes in Sr/Cashell and 87Sr/86Srshell shifted toward values characteristic of O&G wastewater produced from the Marcellus Formation. Conversely, shells collected upstream of the discharge and from waterways without treatment facilities showed lower variability and no trend in either Sr/Cashell or 87Sr/86Srshell with time (2008-2015). These findings suggest that (1) freshwater mussels may be used to monitor changes in water chemistry through time and help identify specific pollutant sources and (2) O&G contaminants likely bioaccumulated in areas of surface water disposal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10883-10892
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume52
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 18 2018

Fingerprint

Oils
Wastewater
Gases
Metals
shell
wastewater
oil
metal
Wastewater disposal
gas
pollutant
Water
Surface waters
Discharge (fluid mechanics)
pollutant source
Rivers
water chemistry
Impurities
surface water
well

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Geeza, Thomas J. ; Gillikin, David P. ; McDevitt, Bonnie ; Van Sice, Katherine ; Warner, Nathaniel Richard. / Accumulation of Marcellus Formation Oil and Gas Wastewater Metals in Freshwater Mussel Shells. In: Environmental Science and Technology. 2018 ; Vol. 52, No. 18. pp. 10883-10892.
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Accumulation of Marcellus Formation Oil and Gas Wastewater Metals in Freshwater Mussel Shells. / Geeza, Thomas J.; Gillikin, David P.; McDevitt, Bonnie; Van Sice, Katherine; Warner, Nathaniel Richard.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 52, No. 18, 18.09.2018, p. 10883-10892.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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