What is a Frac Pond

A frac pond is a type of retention pond, used to store massive amounts of water used in the fracking process. A frac pond may be built to store fresh water, produced water or flowback from the well, or a mixture during the course of wellsite development. Frac pits often receive the large volumes of flowback generated during the extraction, which can contain chemicals, radioactive elements, and other contaminants. For this reason, pits are commonly lined with thick plastic which is sealed at the seams. 

A frac pond is necessary for a number of reasons. The most important of these are legal obligations and the possible environmental impacts. A frac pond is a form of secondary containment for many dangerous substances, and should be created and disassembled according to federal, state, and local laws. 


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that wastewater generated by fracking be collected and processed. With millions of gallons of water used in the process, a frac pit is the the only reasonable option for larger sites. Further, each state has its own set of rules regarding oil and gas exploration.

In Texas, for example, the regulations regarding frac pits are covered in the Texas Administrative Code. Under the regulation of the Railroad Commission of Texas, the rules define the types of pits that may be used, as well what types of liners must be used. The rules also lay out the proper cleanup procedures for frac ponds. The transporter of any oil and gas wastes must be properly permitted. 

Further still, individual localities may have their own rules and regulations for storing and processing fracking wastewater. This can create a confusing landscape of regulations, which makes it imperative to hire a trained and certified professional company, like West Texas Dumpsters. Besides navigating the complicated legal aspects of liner disposal, they are also conscientious of the environmental damage that can occur when a frac pond is not properly reclaimed. This is a complex process.

Environmental Protection

A frac pond ensures that none of the chemicals, proppants, or other potentially hazardous materials from the fracking operation reach sources of ground or surface water. The frac pond typically has a single or double layer of sealed plastic to ensure these materials are properly processed, and do not end up contaminating the local environment.

The frac pit will hold the flowback until it can be transported to an EPA licensed disposal well. There it can be pumped deep into the ground, which will naturally filter out contaminants and return the water to an aquifer. One the water is removed, the remaining pit and liner must also be cleaned up, and the surface soil remediated. The liner itself is thick, heavy, and difficult to remove. Further, it often contains many contaminants which were left in the frac pit. The careful removal of the liner is imperative to a clean and healthy environment.

West Texas Dumpsters specializes in the removal of frac pond liners, and can take care of projects of any size. Their staff is trained on the proper removal and disposal of frac pond liners, and can also remove and dispose of contaminated soils. As a company, they strive to keep the Permian basin beautiful as they aid oil and gas extraction operations with a variety of services. 

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