Deep Injection Disposal Well for Liquid Toxic Waste

by O. E. Mechem,
J. H. Garrett,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1963, Vol. 89, Issue 2, Pg. 111-124

Document Type: Journal Paper


On November 30, 1961, the deepest known pressure injection disposal well for liquid toxic waste was completed on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal near Denver, Colorado. Total depth of the well was 12,045 ft, with the injection interval being 11,975 ft to 12,045 ft in the fractured granite. With this example in mind, the feasibility of subsurface industrial waste water disposal is examined. For a number of years the oil industry has used subterranean waste disposal methods. An ideal subterranean waste disposal reservoir would provide the following requisites: (1) An accumulation of rocks with sufficient pore volume to contain desired or commercial quantities of waste water under pressure available from injection facilities; (2) sufficient permeability to accept waste water at commercial rates with available injection pressures; (3) natural barriers at horizontal and vertical extremities of the pore volume to assure confinement of waste water; and (4) no natural resources of commercial or domestic value within the pore volume. Because of the essential reservoir evaluation, the simple drilling of a hole in the ground to dispose of waste fluids is far short of the requirements of a disposal well.

Subject Headings: Industrial wastes | Municipal wastewater | Injection wells | Toxicity | Waste disposal | Reservoirs | Pore pressure | Mountains | Colorado | United States | Rocky Mountains | Denver

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