Salt Water Disposal Well Fire In Wise County

WISE COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – The North Texas weather may have been the cause of a massive fire in Wise County.

At around 8:30 Tuesday morning a lightning strike is suspected of starting a fire at a salt water disposal well just off of Highway 144, west of Boyd.

Green Tide Water Disposal owns the well.

At the height of the blaze six tank batteries were burning. Flames and heavy smoke can be seen for miles.

Fire crews on the scene sprayed the fire with foam, but decided to let the blaze burn itself out. The blaze burned for several hours before finally dying out.

The smoke is gone now, but some residents are still concerned. “I went back to my back fence back there and you could see it through the trees…you could see that smoke coming up,” said Boyd resident Gary Weatherley.

Resident Pam Garnett said, “I know this can happen anywhere but we’ve never really lived this close to oilfields, oil rigs or what have you, so we were all freaking out.”

State and federal environmental agencies monitored air quality in the area and fire officials said there is no reason for alarm.

“Lightning strikes on these tanks are not uncommon,” said Wise County Fire Marshal Marc Dodd. “It’s a volatile, organic compound is what’s left in that oil, and that stuff will burn off readily.”

No injuries have been reported.

The salt water disposal wells contained fluid drawn out during the natural gas drilling process.

Drilling a gas well takes about a month, first vertically and then horizontally. Then comes the hydraulic fracturing process or “fracking” — when pressurized water is used to break through rock to get to the natural gas within.

Some of that water and other fluids are extracted along with the gas. After they’re separated, the waste water is disposed of in wells.

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  • david

    so water does burn after all, so much for fracking not ruining our drinking water.

    • richiemc

      This is salt water from the wells, not drinking water. The fiberglass tanks burned not the water. Engage your brain before putting your mouth in gear.

      • darrell

        you need to follow your own advise about engaging brain before mouth.

  • moondragon

    If the liquid can BURN I don’t think we can call it water anymore.

  • darrell

    first, what is a tank battery? is this a tank full of salt water that has been trucked to the well for injection into ground?

  • darrell

    saw the videos, sorry, salt water does not burn like that. hazardous waste mixed with oil does. thats what they planned to inject into the ground.

    • richiemc

      Darrell, read all of what I’ve said before commenting (engage brain!!). Fiberglass will burn/melt. You have no clue what you’re talking about so you should shut your mouth. I explained what happened with the fumes etc. You are one of those people who doesn’t want to be confused by the facts.

      • richiemc

        Your an authority on batteries now but a little while ago you had to ask what a tank battery was. Its like the old saying, “Two hours ago I couldn’t even spell enguneer (sp) and now I are one!” That’s you bud.

      • richiemc

        I repeat, please engage your brain before putting your mouth in gear. You obviously don’t have a clue. Its hard to argue with a DA. Lightning changes all the dynamics of the situation.

      • darrell

        going to stick to that industry sales pitch i guess. yes fiberglass will burn. right down to the water line. which is this case was ground level. either you are incredibly ignorant of your own industry or your just a mouthpiece. that battery was full of hydrocarbons or condensate. which is why it burned like it did. this well was not an active injection well at the time of the fire.

    • richiemc

      I do know what I’m talking about, been in the oil business for 40 years. I did engage my brain before mouth, you are the one, darrell, who needs to follow that advice. To educate you a little, darrell, a tank battery is a group of tanks used to separate oil from water and to store the oil and water until they are either sold or disposed of. The hazardous waste you speak of is salt water and it is injected at about 6000′ below ground level. There are always some fumes from the residual oil that was in the salt water when produced and in the oil storage tanks. If your house was hit by lightning, it would explode too. You have no clue what you are talking about.

      • darrell

        a battery of 7 tanks dont all burn to the ground if they are full of salt water. once the hydrocarbons burn off the fire will go out. then of course we can see where your loyalties lie on this.

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