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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New ASTM Water Subcommittee to Develop Proposed Standards for Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids

A new ASTM International subcommittee will develop standards that will be used by contract laboratories, water utilities, and others requiring or developing methods used for hydraulic fracturing. Subcommittee D19.09 on Water – Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids is under the jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee D19 on Water. Standards developed by D19.09 will be used to assess water quality and determine impacts of a spill and possible contamination.

The new subcommittee will liaison with Subcommittee D18.26 on Hydraulic Fracturing, part of ASTM International Committee D18 on Soil and Rock, which was formed in 2012. In addition, D19.09 will work closely with the D19 Executive Section D19.90.04 to continue to coordinate communication with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on fracturing water issues.

ASTM International logo“Hydraulic fracturing … involves a wide array of contaminant analysis, including organic, inorganic, and radioisotopes,” says Richard Jack, a member of D19 who is the North American environmental marketing manager for Thermo Fisher Scientific. “In order to avoid confusion, increase communication, and have a focused approach in which we can share information, it was decided to form a subcommittee specifically focused on hydraulic fracturing.”

For example, “D19.09 standards can be used by drinking water utilities that want to assess their raw water and determine if increased salts, radioisotopes, or metals are present. Of particular concern are increased concentrations of bromide, which can result in the formation of disinfection by products during the water purification process,” says Jack. “Companies that desalinate fracking waters for reuse will need to determine the concentration of anions, cations, and metals.”

The subcommittee is currently developing the proposed standard WK40832, Test Method for Measurement of Dissolved Gases Methane, Ethane, Ethylene and Propane by Static Headspace Sampling and Flame Ionization Detection (GC/FID). All parties interested in developing standards related to hydraulic fracturing water are encouraged to join D19.09. The next ASTM Committee D19 meeting is Jan. 19-23 in Melbourne, Fla.

To purchase ASTM standards, visit and search by the standard designation or contact ASTM at (877) 909-ASTM.

ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance, and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems, and commercial transactions.


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