The Department of Energy (DOE) Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 3 (NPR-3) produced water bio-treatment facility effectively treats an average of 35,000 barrels of water per day. All discharge limits are met. The functional component parts of the bio-treatment facility consist of cooling, blending, oil/water separation and biological treatment. The bio-treatment facility replaced subsurface injection saving $175,000 per year on utilities ($3.5MM over the 20-year life expectancy). The surface discharge of the treated produced water benefits wildlife by keeping a normally dry streambed wet year-round with an abundance of wetland plants for forage.

This bio-treatment facility evaluation is based on site observations over the past four years, review of historical discharge data and a one-time sampling event at eight locations within the facility in September of 1999. The suite of analytical tests include BOD5, COD, TOC, TIC, TPH, O&G, GRO, DRO, BTEX, Ca, Mg, SO4, TKN, NH3, NO3, Alkalinity, pH, EC, hardness, H2S, P (total), PO4 (ortho), TDS, TSS, turbidity and VS. In addition, selected temperature and flow measurements were collected. Hach Biological Activity Reaction Tests (BARTs) were used to measure microbial activity in the water and soil columns and to demonstrate the "substrate effect." The sampling event occurred shortly after an upset event that resulted in a hydraulic surge, elevated temperatures and skimming difficulties. In spite of the upset, the bio-treatment facility's removal rates were >90% for nearly all analytes. The extent of hydrocarbon removal ranged from 95% to 100%.

The areas identified for potential improvement to the bio-treatment facility include cooling capacity, solids handling/removal, skimming operations, flow control and water control structures, replanting of the wetland (free-water surface and/or subsurface), future discharge limits and water reuse.

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