Aqua-Pure Ventures Inc.: The Future of Industrial Wastewater Treatment

Aqua-Pure Ventures Inc. (APV) is out to prove the value of industrial wastewater. The Calgary, Alberta-based company began in 1992 developing a prototype evaporator technology for treating landfill leachate, and by 1997 the pioneering company had applied for a process patent.

The company quickly found a significant niche in the natural gas and oilfield service industry and grew to develop and commercialize cutting-edge technology capable of transforming wastewater into fresh water for reuse. The company believes that water is simply too precious a resource to waste and the mobile equipment APV develops helps to keep millions of barrels of water safely in the hydrological system, while making its clients’ bottom line a bit friendlier.

The bulk of APV’s work is focused on the services and technology it provides to the oilfield industry that takes the slurry resulting from hydraulic fracking and processes the water, transforming it from liability to an asset. These services are offered through APV’s Fountain Quail Water Management subsidiary, based in Fort Worth, Texas, which services clients in the Eagle Ford Shale, Barnett Shale and the Marcellus Shale. The company’s skid-mounted NOMAD system combines already existing evaporative technology with state-of-the-art heat exchanger technology and an innovative – and patented – process to turn feed water back into pure, distilled water.

This process, delivered through turnkey project services and project management, has helped establish APV as the premier recycler of industrial wastewater in North America. APV can coordinate partner requirements to provide a quality product, on schedule and within budget, planning, developing, distributing and optimally utilizing water resources under defined policies and regulations.

Stepping Up

“Somebody has to do it, because we simply can’t keep putting this water back in the ground where we can never get it back,” emphasizes Richard Magnus, chairman of APV. Traditionally, water used for fracking would be pumped deep into the ground where it could not contaminate water in the aquifer, but the major downside to that practice is that it also keeps the water from ever returning to the hydrological cycle.

Instead, APV’s supplies around a dozen professionals and a minimum of two NOMAD units to the client’s oil or gas production site, delivering cost-effective and environmentally sustainable alternatives to wastewater disposal to ensure the long-term success of industry partners, respect the communities in which they operate and preserves the Earth’s most precious resource.

APV doesn’t sell the equipment it operates, as the process itself requires constant supervision from a trained engineer. APV simply hauls in the units as close to a site as possible and a steady stream of water tank trucks and/or fastlines ferry the used and clean water back and forth between the NOMAD unit and the fracking site. Clients pay APV on a per-barrel basis to treat the water instead of purchasing fresh water from a local utility, which is a considerable expense in major oilfield areas like Texas that have experienced some of the driest years on record in recent years.

The key to APV’s success is in the combination of its technologies into a patented process that leverages many existing technologies in such a way that it outperforms the sum of its components in operating expenses and easy maintenance. APV designed the systems to run on considerably less power than other peripherally related pieces of equipment and with the supervision of fewer professionals. And APV’s systems have been designed specifically for oilfield applications to handle variable waste. This is critical in hydraulic fracking operations, which are continually monitored and adjusted with fracking fluid additives to reach important petroleum and natural gas deposits.

“Our system can be taken apart, cleaned out and put back into operation by one person in about eight hours, which is critical because these systems are going to foul up,” expands Magnus.

Making the Impossible Possible

APV works tirelessly to plan for contingencies and develop new units, because the needs of the oilfield industry continue to change. So, in October 2011 APV introduced its newest system, dubbed “ROVER.” ROVER has been designed to meet the needs of a greater number of clients in the oilfield industry and into a system that can treat up to 10,000 barrels of water per day, compared to NOMAD’s 2,500 barrels per day.

Flowback from the oil of gas well is pumped directly into the unit for clarification and filtration, but instead of yielding distilled water the system only purifies it to a brackish state, which can just as easily be reused for fracking. The system also costs a fraction of what the NOMAD systems costs, giving APV’s customers a bit more economic flexibility.

“We’re very excited about ROVER and we expect great things from it, but we also think it’ll clean a hell of a lot of water,” admits Magnus. The system is just now finishing a last round of testing and is available to customers now.

Reception of the ROVER so far has been positive, and Magnus is confident the company will continue to solidify its niche in the oilfield service industry. “It’s not just the technology that sets us apart; it’s the eight years of experience we have running it,” admits Magnus.

The combination of superior, specialized technologies and experience will ensure that all of APV’s future endeavors directly and cost-effectively address the needs of the oilfield industry. By pushing its team to develop more responsible wastewater treatment solutions, Aqua-Pure Ventures Inc. secures the future of our fresh water resources and the success of its industry partners and the communities it serves.