EARTHWORKS

Minimizing Visual Impacts

Landscaping can help decrease the visual impacts of wells. For example, soil can be formed into ridges or gentle berms around the well pad, and trees and other vegetation can be planted on the ridges to screen wells so that nearby residents don't see them.

A low-profile pumping unit can replace the conventional unit, which uses a 30- to 40-foot beam and looks like a giant, bobbing horse's head. The conventional pump is run on a gas- or diesel-powered engine, which is noisy and smelly. Alternatives to this large pump include using a pneumatic pumping device that doesn't require an engine, therefore, produces little or no noise. This pump stands about 10 to 15-feet tall. According to one company, pneumatic pumps will not function correctly if a lot of water is extracted while extracting methane gas. [1] When larger amounts of water are produced, an alternative to the standard beam pump is the progressive cavity pump. These pumps come in different shapes and sizes, and like the pneumatic pump, they can turn on electric motors, and therefore, be much quieter than conventional pumps.


For more information:

Sources:

[1] Trujillo, Shirena. August 27, 2000. "In search of quieter, gentler wells." Durango Herald.

Tagged with: visual impacts, pumping, fracking

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