Water Supply
and Pollution Control
Public Health Service

Page 2, Paragraph 3
Louisiana should be listed among the
states with several injection wells.
Page 2, Paragraph 6
The cost of existing wells is discussed
on page 32.
Page 15, Paragraph 1
A method of testing injection wells to
establish their critical input pressures
is described on page 18.
Page 49, Reference 81
V. 7

A Review of Existing Knowledge
and an Evaluation of Research
Don L, Warner, Research Geologist-Engineer
Basic and Applied Sciences Branch
Robert A. Taft Sanitary Engineering Center
Public Health Service
Division of Water Supply and Pollution Control
Cincinnati, Ohio
April 1965

established to report the results of scientific and engineering studies
of man's environment: The community, whether urban, suburban, or
rural, where he lives, works, and plays; the air, water, and earth he
uses and re-uses; and the wastes he produces and must dispose of in a
way that preserves these natural resources. This SERIES of reports
provides for professional users a central source of information on the
intramural research activities of Divisions and Centers within the Public
Health Service, and on their cooperative activities with State and local
agencies, research institutions, and industrial organizations. The general
subject area of each report is indicated by the two letters that appear
in the publication number; the indicators are
WP — Water Supply
and Pollution Control
AP — Air Pollution
AH — Arctic Health
EE — Environmental Engineering
FP — Food Protection
OH — Occupational Health
RH — Radiological Health
Triplicate tear-out abstract cards are provided with reports in the
SERIES to facilitate information retrieval. Space is provided on the
cards for the user's accession number and additional key words.
Reports in the SERIES will be distributed to requesters, as supplies
permit. Requests should be directed to the Division identified on the
title page or to the Publications Office, Robert A. Taft Sanitary
Engineering Center, Cincinnati 26, Ohio.
Public Health Service Publication No. 999-WP-21

Direct use of the soil and subsurface formations for treating, con-
taining, disposing, or reclaiming water from liquid wastes is a relatively
untapped means of water pollution control. Soil utilization offers
advantages as an alternative to more conventional methods of handling
wastes and may eliminate the need for waste disposal to surface waters
in many instances. To be practicable, land-waste disposal methods
must also be handled in such a manner as to protect ground water
quality. One of the objectives of the Engineering Research Section of
the Water Pollution Control Division is to develop the background
of scientific and engineering knowledge to permit formulation of
reliable design and operating criteria for techniques of using surface
soils and subsurface formations for water pollution control.
This report on deep-well injection is one of a series of reviews of
the status of knowledge and research needs concerning one technique
of land disposal. Subsequent reports will cover other techniques.
Gordon G. Robeck
Chief, Engineering Section
Basic and Applied Sciences Branch
Division of Water Supply and Pollution Control

Page No.
Abstract 	vii
Introduction		 1
Existing Wells	 1
Site Selection	 3
General Geological Considerations 	 3
Areas Geologically Suitable for Deep-well Injection 	 4
Drilling, Evaulation, and Completion of Injection Wells	 8
Drilling Injection Wells 	 8
Evaluation of the Injection Horizon	10
Subsurface Evaluation Methods	11
Core Analysis 	12
Short-term and Ultimate Capacity of a Well	12
Factors Restricting Injection Rate and
Ultimate Injection Capacity 	12
Rate of Pressure Increase	15
Injeetivity Index 	18
Critical Input Pressure 	18
Pumping and Injection Tests	19
Completion of Injection Wells 	20
Casing and Tubing	22
Casing Cementing	24
Well Stimulation	25
Operation of Injection Wells 	25
Permeability Reduction During Operation	25
Monitoring Injection Wells	30
Pressure Monitoring 	30
Observation Wells	30
Heat Generation	31
Injection Well Failure			31
Economics of Injection Well Construction and Operation 	32
State Regulations	38
Research Needs	39
General Geologic Considerations 	39
Areas Geologically Suitable for Deep-well
Injection of Waste	39
Evaluation of the Disposal Horizon	40
Safe Injection Pressure			40
Estimation of the Rate of Pressure Increase
in an Injection Well	40
Pumping and Injection Tests 	40
Compatibility of Injected and Interstitial
Fluids and Minerals	..41
Determination of Wastes Suitable for Deep-well Injection . . . , . 41
Data Concerning Existing Waste-injection Wells	42
Recommendations for Legal Requirements Pertaining to
Waste-injection Well Permitting, Construction, and
Evaluation	42
Conclusions	43
References 	45
Selected Readings	55

A review of the knowledge pertinent to the use of deep wells for the
subsurface injection of liquid waste has been carried out to evaluate
the technical and economic feasibility and desirability of this method
and to outline existing research needs.
This review has shown that the deep-well injection of liquid waste is
technically feasible in many areas of the country and, if properly
planned and implemented, is not likely to be harmful to natural
While most of the technical knowledge and experience necessary to
carry out the deep-well injection of liquid waste is presently available,
further investigation is necessary to solve specific problems that remain
as barriers to the safe, efficient, and economic use of this method.

The purpose of this report is to evaluate existing knowledge per-
tinent to the use of deep wells* for the subsurface injection of liquid
waste and to outline the research needed to allow interested agencies
and individuals to estimate more easily the technical and economic
feasibility and desirability of this method.
Numerous studies, many of them cited here, have been done with
regard to the feasibility of using deep wells for the subsurface injection
of radioactive waste. No comprehensive study has, however, been
made to evaluate the use of deep wells for injection of toxic liquid
wastes other than radioactive ones.
Highly toxic, nonradioactive wastes are produced by various
industries, for example, metal-plating and chemical industries, in
many areas of the country. These wastes may be virulent, relatively
indestructible contaminants if discharged into usable waters. Wastes
containing these contaminants can be concentrated, but the problem
of ultimate disposal remains.
Stephan (1) has listed several processes by which permanent dis-
posal of concentrated, unusable, inorganic wastes can be accomplished.
These processes are, in the order of increasing cost: Spreading on
the surface of the earth, deep-well injection, placement in cavities,
wet oxidation, and incineration. Priesing (2) has listed other possible
methods of ultimate disposal: Biochemical oxidation, radiation de-
composition, and use for biological fuel cells.
Deep-well injection is not actually a disposal method, but rather
a storage method, since wastes injected into an underground stratum
remain there indefinitely if the injection program is properly planned
and carried out. A question of major importance is, therefore, under
what conditions should this storage space be used for liquid waste?
This report does not attempt to answer that question but only to ex-
amine the more obvious factors involved in making such a decision.
In addition, some of the technical methods and tools available for the
construction, evaluation, and operation of injection wells are considered.
Deep wells are used in oil:producing states for underground dis-
posal of the saline water brought to the surface with the oil. The
importance of this procedure to the preservation of surface- and
ground-water quality in these states is clear when it is realized that,
in the United States, 6 billion barrels of saline water was removed
from the ground through oil wells in 1956 (3).
*Deep wells, as discussed in this report, may range from a few hundred feet to over
12,000 feet in depth. Welt depth at any specific location depends on the depth
required to reach a porous, permeable, salt-water-bearing stratum that is confined
vertically by relatively impermeable beds.

The total number of brine injection wells in the United States is
not known. Kansas (4) has issued permits for about 3,000 of these
wells, which has been stated to be more than exist in all the other
states combined (5).
The number and location of deep wells for injection of wastes
other than oilfield waters is not accurately known, since no com-
prehensive, authoritative survey of registered existing wells has been
made, and no means has been established for the permitting and
registering of these wells in some states.
Talbot and Beardon (6) found that a total of at least 50 indus-
trial-waste injection wells exist in the States of California, Colorado,
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma,
Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. By correspondence with state
agencies and by examination of the literature, the writer has deter-
mined that a total of about 50 deep industrial-waste injection wells
exist in the States of Michigan, Texas, and California alone. Oklahoma
and Kansas have injection wells, but their number is not known.
Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania
have one or two wells each. Alaska, Missouri, New York, Washington,
and West Virginia have reported having injection wells, but that these
are deep wells, as defined earlier, or that they are for industrial-waste
injection is not certain. Deep industrial-waste injection wells have been
constructed in the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Alberta.
Some articles that describe specific individual wells have been
published by Adinoff (7), Cecil (8), Henkel (10,11), Holland and
Clark (12), Hundley and Matulis (13,14), Lansing and Hewett (15),
Lee (16), MacLeod (17), Mechem and Garrett (18), Paradiso (19),
Sadow (20), Scopel (21), Moffett (46), Batz (145), and Graves (146).
The above-cited articles, information from the "Inventory of Munici-
pal and Industrial Waste Facilities" (22), and written communications
from the individual states indicate that deep wells have been used to
inject spent sulfuric acid, spent caustic, cooling tower and boiler water,
and phenolic wastes from petroleum refineries; caustic wastes, phenolic
wastes, and concentrated brines from petrochemical plants; spent
brines from chemical plants using brine as a chemical source; produced
wastes from a natural gas purification and compressor plant; mis-
cellaneous chemicalsfrom chemical- and pharmaceutical-product plants;
spent pulping liquors from a paper mill; radioactive uranium mill
wastes; phenols and quench water from a coking plant; unidentified
wastes from two food product plants; and unidentified wastes from
several metal-product plants.
The majority of reported industrial-waste injection wells range
in depth from a few hundred to 6,000 feet, one well exceeding 12,000
feet (18,21). Existing wells are injecting waste into sandstones and
limestones with the exception of one well (18,21), which is injecting
into fractured gneiss. The cost of existing wells is discussed on page

General Geologic Considerations
Rocks that comprise the earth's crust are classified as igneous,
metamorphic, and sedimentary. Although all these rocks can, under
the proper circumstances, have sufficient porosity and permeability
to act as reservoirs for injected fluids, consolidated sedimentary rocks
are most likely to have the geologic characteristics suitable for waste
injection wells. These characteristics are:
1.	The injection horizon should have sufficient porosity, perme-
ability, and areal extent to act as a liquid storage reservoir
at safe injection pressures.
2.	The injection horizon should be vertically below the level of
fresh water and should be separated vertically from fresh water
and other natural resources by rocks that are, for practical
purposes, impermeable to waste.
Most sedimentary rocks with these characteristics were deposited in
a marine environment and, below the present level of fresh-water
circulation, contain saline water in the pores. This interstitial saline
water is not suitable for most purposes and only occasionally con-
tains enough dissolved minerals to be commercially valuable. These
sedimentary rocks do, however, contain naturally occurring oil, gas,
coal, and sulfur, and in some localities, sedimentary strata are used
as storage reservoirs for natural gas. Important considerations in
selecting a waste injection well site are, therefore, the protection of
developed and undeveloped deposits of minerals and hydrocarbons,
and the preservation of possible gas storage reservoirs.
Sedimentary rocks porous and permeable enough in the unfractured
state to accept relatively large volumes of waste are sandstones, lime-
stones, and dolomites. Naturally fractured limestones and shales may
provide satisfactory injection horizons, since oil and gas are pro-
duced from these rocks in many areas (23). Artificially fractured shales
have been suggested as reservoirs for liquid radioactive waste (24).
Confining strata that are, for practical purposes, impermeable
must overlie and underlie the injection horizon to prevent the vertical
escape of injected waste, Unfractured shale, clay, salt, anhydrite,
gypsum, marl, and bentonite have been found to make good seals
against the upward flow of oil and gas (25). Limestone or dolomite
might provide a satisfactory seal, but since these rocks often contain
open fractures or solution channels, their adequaty as confining beds
would have to be carefully evaluated in each case. The necessary
thickness for a confining stratum cannot be rigidly specified; however,
Review and Evaluation

Russell (25) has stated that the minimum thickness of a good seal
to retain oil may be only 10 to 20 feet. In many cases, hundreds or
thousands of feet of relatively impermeable strata may enclose a
possible injection horizon and virtually insure its segregation. If
insuring that injected waste is confined laterally as well as vertically
within a selected horizon is desired, waste can be injected into localized
geologic structures.
Sedimentary rocks have commonly been uplifted, folded, and
faulted by forces in the earth's crust after their original deposition in
relatively uniform layers at the bottom of ancient seas. The folds
are positive ones (anticlines) and negative ones (synclines). Faults
offset strata and place them in contact with other older or younger
beds of the same or different rock types. Oil and gas often occur in
anticlinal folds since these fluids are less dense than water and seek
a position of lowest fluid potential. Anticlinal structures are used for
gas storage reservoirs for this same reason. Injected waste with a
density less than that of interstitial water would tend, therefore, to
remain trapped in closed anticlinal structures whereas waste with a
density greater than that of interstitial water would tend to remain
trapped in closed synclinal structures.
Injecting wastes of relatively high specific gravity into closed
synclines seems advisable, wherever possible, since they could not
then leak upward into fresh-water-bearing strata and could not migrate
laterally into hydrocarbon-bearing geologic structures (anticlines).
This procedure has been suggested by others (26).
Porous and permeable sandstone bodies entirely surrounded by
impermeable shales exist in many areas of the United States and have
been suggested as possible reservoirs for liquid radioactive waste (27).
These sands are restricted in thickness and areal distribution (28),
and, while the total amount of waste that can be injected at safe pres-
sures would be restricted, the injected waste would presumably be
contained within a well-defined reservoir. Other types of structural
and stratigraphic traps contain oil and gas (23) and would also
hold injected waste under the proper conditions.
In aquifers where a hydrodynamic gradient exists, the mechanics
of fluid entrapment are modified; these conditions have been discussed
by Hubbert (29). This factor should be considered in selecting a
waste injection well site where lateral confinement of the waste is
Areas Geologically Suitable for Deep-Well Injection
The specific location of a waste injection well site must be deter-
mined from a detailed analysis of local geology. Generalizations can,
however, be made, based on regional geologic considerations, con-
cerning the suitability of some areas for waste injection wells.

Synclinal basins, such as those shown in Figure 1,* are of parti-
cular interest in the consideration of injection well sites because they
contain relatively thick sequences of salt-water-bearing sedimentary
rocks and because the subsurface geology of these basins is often well
known as a result of wells' having been drilled for oil and gas. In
addition, if these basins are closed ones, fluids are believed to be un-
able to circulate out of them.
Because of their comparatively favorable geologic characteristics,
synclinal basins have received consideration as sites for the injection
of liquid radioactive waste. Repenning (30,31) has reported on the
San Juan basin and the Central Valley of California, Colton (32)
on the Appalachian basin, deWitt (33) on the Michigan basin,
Sandberg (34) on the Williston basin, and Beikman (35) on the
Powder River Basin. LeGrand (36) has reported on the Atlantic and
Gulf Coastal Plains. Other basins (Figure 1) are under study by
members of the United States Geological Survey and by the Sub-
committee on Atomic Waste Disposal of the American Association of
Petroleum Geologists.
Many of the findings of the above-cited studies are applicable to
the injection of fluids other than radioactive waste. Since, however,
the deep-well injection of radioactive waste may involve problems
(such as heat generation and extreme toxicity) not encountered in
the injection of other fluids, the conclusions do not all apply to the
present study. Data concerning some of the basins of greatest interest
for industrial-waste injection are summarized in the following
The Central Valley of California (31) is about 450 miles long and
has an average width of about 40 miles (Figure 1). As much as
50,000 feet of sedimentary rocks accumulated in the northern part of
the Central Valley and 25,000 feet in the southern part. Sandstones
that would provide suitable injection horizons are present in this
thick sequence of sedimentary rocks, but several factors intrude on
their use for waste injection. These are:
1.	Rapid lateral changes in rock properties, which make the
evaluation of possible injection horizons difficult;
2.	the danger of seismic activity, which could rupture casing
in the injection wells or in nearby abandoned wells or perhaps
damage the confining strata;
3.	the presence of extensive oil and gas accumulations;
4.	the general extension of potable ground water to depths of
2,000 to 3,000 feet.
*With the exception of the Appalachian basin and the Central Valley of California,
only the approximate extent of the closed portions of the various basins are shown
in Figure 1.
Review and Evaluation


j	U'I»V»( »"UV ¦n(B(
I •WrtOUS-
|	*I*UVV* MO W<-»MO*»w»C "OCRS 1 •{
I	(l»?U( AT WMUt
»»C*s WK*! ww.cn.tnc
9MUMCT* *»{ l«»OUC »' sumtCE
»QU»OA*t{? 0* MOwO&'C '( lTbD(S
Figure 1. Geologic features significant in evaluation of well sites for deep waste
injection. Data obtained from tectonic map of the United States. American
Association of Petroleum Geologists. 1944.

The Appalachian basin (32) is not a clearly defined closed basin,
as are some of the other basins shown in Figure 1, but is a broad
structural downwarp that contains relatively thick sequences of sedi-
mentary rocks. Within the Appalachian basin, many smaller geologic
structures exist, and each would have to be considered individually
for its suitability as a waste injection site; however, Colton (32) has
outlined broad areas of the Appalachian basin with regard to their
suitability for radioactive waste disposal. The areas he considers
generally unsuitable are underlain by complexly folded and faulted
Paleozoic rocks, have sedimentary sequences less than 2,000 feet
thick, or are underlain by rocks containing comparatively large
volumes of coal, oil, or gas. These factors also limit the suitability
of the outlined areas for the injection of liquid wastes other than
radioactive ones.
The Michigan basin, as outlined by deWitt (33), covers about
122,000 square miles in parts of five states and the Province of
Ontario. At the central part of the basin, sedimentary rocks are
more than 14,000 feet thick. Sandstones and limestones are present
that are suitable for waste injection, but injection should be carefully
controlled, since these rocks contain ground water to depths of greater
than 1,000 feet and also contain commercially valuable brines and
The Atiantic and Gulf Coastal Plains (36) (Figure 1) are not basins,
but Tertiary, Cretaceous, and older sediments, which comprise all
but the most superficial covering and dip generally toward the sea.
These sediments are generally at least several thousand feet thick.
The uppermost few hundred feet of these seaward-dipping sediments
may contain fresh water, but at depths greater than this, the water
is saline.
Several factors tend to make some parts of the Coastal Plain less
suitable for injection well sites than others. The Texas and Louisiana
Gulf Coast is less favorable because of the immense oil- and gas-
bearing potential of the sedimentary strata andbecause of the relatively
high fluid pressures found in the subsurface in some areas. Much of
peninsular Florida may not be suitable for injection wells, because
of the importance of ground water and because of uncertainty that
the deeper rocks are adequately sealed from the shallower fresh-water-
bearing ones.
Just as major synclinal basins are generally geologically favorable
sites for deep-well injection, other areas may be unfavorable because
they have a relatively thin sedimentary rock cover or none at all.
Extensive areas where relatively impermeable igneous-instrusive and
metamorphic rocks are exposed at the surface are shown in Figure 1.
These regions can generally be eliminated from consideration as
possible waste injection well sites. In addition to the areas shown in
Review and Evaluation

Figure 1, in much of the Rocky Mountain region, between the numer-
ous intermountain basins, crystalline rocks are exposed at the surface
or lie near the surface. Igneous-intrusive and metamorphic rocks lie
at or near the surface in much of the region north of the Columbia
River-Snake River-Yellowstone volcanic area (Figure 1).
Regions wherein a thick volcanic sequence lies at the surface
(Figure 1) are not generally suitable for waste disposal wells. Although
volcanic rocks have fissures, fractures, and interbedded gravels that
will accept injected fluids, they contain fresh water.
The immense and geologically complex Basin and Range Province
(Figure 1) is a series of narrow basins and intervening structurally
positive ranges. Some of the basins might provide waste injection
sites, but their geology is largely unknown and the cost of obtaining
sufficient information to allow the safe construction of injection wells
would be very great.
The geology of the West Coast is complex and not well known.
Relatively small Tertiary sedimentary basins in southern California
produce large quantities of oil and gas, and would be generally
geologically satisfactory sites for waste injection wells. These basins
exist along the coast of northern California, Oregon, and Washington,
but their geology is poorly known.
Large areas of the Midwest and West have not been discussed
since they are not underlain by major basins or by prominent geologic
features that characterize other regions. These areas may be generally
satisfactory for waste injection if they are underlain by a sufficient
thickness of strata that contain saline water and if potential injection
horizons are sealed from fresh-water-bearing strata by impermeable
confining beds.
Drilling Injection Wells
The type of equipment used for drilling an injection well can
influence the well's economics and performance. Oil and gas wells
are drilled primarily with rotary drills, and this type of equipment
is, therefore, most readily available. Cable-tool drills are, however,
still used by the oil industry and may, under certain conditions, be
more desirable than rotary drills. The following paragraphs con-

cerning disposal well drilling have been extracted from the American
Petroleum Institute's publication " Subsurface Salt-Water Disposal" (37).
"Drilling the well down to the disposal formation is
carried on in accordance with accepted practices within
the area. The only drilling of the disposal well which will
be discussed is the actual drilling of the disposal formation,
"Cable tools are frequently used for drilling the disposal
formation, particularly where casing is set above the
formation. There are many areas, however, where the use
of cable tools is not feasible because of high pressure,
extreme depths, soft formations, etc., as in the Gulf Coast
"The chances for formation damage are less when drilling
with cable tools than with rotary tools. Mud and lost-
circulation material will not be lost to the formation,
which could cause a plugging action. Drilling is at a
slower rate with cable tools, but in most areas their
cheaper price rate offsets the difference in drilling rates.
"When rotary tools are used to drill the disposal formation,
there are several procedures which can be followed. The
well or formation conditions and accepted or proved prac-
tices within an area help determine which will be used.
These practices are:
"1. Drill full-sized hole to total depth and set casing
through porous disposal zone or zones. This method
is recommended for unconsolidated formations sub-
ject to sloughing or caving.
"2. Drill a full-sized hole through gill porous zones or
to where circulation is lost and set casing immediately
above the porous disposal zones.
"3. Drill a full-sized hole to immediately above, or to
the top of, the disposal formation and set casing at
this point. Then, drill a reduced-sized hole through
all the porous zones or until circulation is lost
"If possible, clear water should be used for drilling
fluid in drilling the reduced hole, to prevent plugging
from mud and lost-circulation material.
"4. Drill a full-sized hole to immediately above, or to
the top of, the disposal zone, then drill a reduced-size
(rat hole) to total depth and set casing at the point
where the hole size was reduced. After casing has been
Review and Evaluation

set, ream the reduced hole to remove mud or invaded
zone, using water for the drilling fluid.
"If casing and hole size permit, the rat-hole may be
reamed with a larger-diameter bit in a conventional
manner. If conventional reaming cannot be done, the
rat-hole may be underreamed."
Koenig (38) attempted to determine the cost of drilling holes of
various sizes and found that, in oil-well drilling, hole diameter does
not enter as a strong determinant in considering well-drilling cost,
but that the trend is to smaller size hole and casing to reduce overall
costs. He also determined that, for 98 typical drilling programs in the
United States, the median diameter of the production hole was 8%
Evaluation of the Injection Horizon
The physical characteristics of the subsurface horizon into which
waste liquids are to be injected can be evaluated by means of various
geologic and engineering techniques and tools. Some of the rock
properties can be estimated from samples taken from surface out-
crops, if such outcrops exist. More reliable information can be obtain-
ed from the records of nearby deep wells, from samples taken from
the injection well, and from tests run in the well during and after
Information obtainable from surface outcrops includes porosity,
permeability, and mineralogy of rock specimens, and the thickness
and sequence of strata. The same information can be obtained from
subsurface rock samples taken during drilling and from various types
of well-logging devices. In addition, evaluation of the gross physical
properties of the injection horizon, such as fluid pressure, temperature,
and flow rate, can be measured. The permeability (transmissibility),
storage coefficient, critical injection pressure, and injectivity index of
the injection horizon can be measured by pumping tests and injection
tests. Samples of reservoir fluid can be obtained in small quantities
from subsurface rock samples or in larger quantities from flowing or
pumping of the disposal horizon.
Knowledge that should be obtained for any injection well is: Depth
to which fresh water extends; sequence of geologic formations; thick-
ness, porosity, permeability, and temperature of the injection horizon;
and quality of water and fluid pressure in the injection horizon. Much
of this information must be obtained before a well is cased. Cores
should be taken at the injection horizon to allow direct evaluation
of porosity and permeability, and determination of possible reactions

between the rock and the waste product. These cores can be taken
during drilling or as sidewall cores before the hole is cased.
Pumping or injection tests are commonly employed in ground-water
basin and oilfield development to determine the capability of the
aquifer or reservoir rock to produce or accept water or hydrocarbons.
Subsurface-formation evaluation methods can be classified according
to whether they are used while drilling is in progress or after the
hole or a portion of it has been drilled. Drill cuttings and cores are
obtained during drilling. Electric logs, sonic logs, radioactive logs,
and drill stem tests can be run after the entire hole or a portion of it
has been drilled. Pumping and injectivity tests can be performed
through the drill stem before the hole has been completed, or through
the casing or tubing after the hole has been completed.
Table 1 summarizes the information that might be desired in
evaluating an injection horizon in the subsurface, and the methods
available for obtaining it. (see References 39,40, and 41 for a complete
discussion of evaluation methods and tools).
Information desired
Methods available for evaluation
Cores, electric logs, radioactive logs,

sonic logs
Cores, pumping or injection tests,

electric logs
Fluid pressure in formations
Drill stem tests
Water samples
Cores, drill-stem tests
Geologic formations
Drill time logs, drilling samples, cores,
intersected by hole
electric logs, sonic logs, radioactive

logs, caliper logs
Thickness and character of
Same as above
disposal horizon

Mineral content of formation
Drilling samples, cores
Temperature of formation
Temperature log
Amount of flow into various
Injectivity profile

Review and Evaluation

Some of the logging tools listed in Table 1 can be rented or pur-
chased and used by the well owner, but the usual practice is to have
the work performed by contract with an oilfield service company
specializing in this work.
Core Analysis
As has been mentioned, some of the rock properties that can be
determined by core analysis are porosity, permeability, and miner-
alogy. The fluids in the core can also be removed and analyzed.
Recommended practices for core handling and analysis (RP40) and
permeability determination (RP27) have been published by the American
Petroleum Institute (42,43). These publications and those by Rail and
others (44) and Champlin (45) contain abundant references to porosity
and permeability determination. Core analyses can be performed by
companies specializing in this work. In using porosity and perme-
ability data from core analyses, a single core sample may not be
representative of the injection horizon as a whole. Levorsen (23) has
shown that permeability determinations from a single oil pool can
vary by several hundredfold or thousandfold.
The type of fluid used in core analyses can influence the value of
the coefficient of permeability, especially when clay minerals are pre-
sent (43). This factor could be particularly important in liquid-waste
injection where changes in permeability of a rock could be caused
by the injection of chemical solutions greatly different from the fluids
used for conventional laboratory permeability determinations.
Short-Term and Ultimate Capacity of a Well
Factors restricting injection rate and ultimate injection capacity.
Experience with injection wells indicates that wide variation in input
rate can exist Moffett (46) has stated that one well for injecting waste
water from a chemical plant into porous sandstone accepted water
at rates as high as 600 gallons per minute (gpm) at a wellhead
pressure of 210 pounds per square inch (psi). On the other hand,
Cecil (8) has reported that the initial intake rate of a disposal well
in Texas (in a sandstone of low permeability) was only 31 gpm at
an injection pressure of 500 psi. Oilfield experience shows that intake
rates could be greater or less than these.
The intake rate of an injection horizon at any limiting pressure
is controlled by the permeability (transmissibility) of the horizon.
Talbot and Beardon (6) found that the most frequent flow rate in
industrial-waste injection wells is in the range of 100 to 300 gpm.
It can be shown that vast amounts of pore volume exist in buried
strata. According to Weeks (48), it has been estimated that the ulti-
mately recoverable oil reserves in the United States may reach 2,000
billion barrels (84 trillion gallons). This oil occupies only a small
fraction of the actual available space. For further comparison, in 1956,
according to one estimate (3), 6 billion barrels (252 billion gallons)

of salt water was removed from the ground through oil wells in the
United States.
Each cubic foot of rock, with a porosity of 20 percent, can contain
about 1 % gallons of waste. The storage volume available to a well
in an underground reservoir can be computed to be (by ignoring the
effect of the well bore):
V = 7.^817T r2h0= 23.505 r2h0ga1	(1)
r = radius of available storaqe area, ft
h = thickness of reservoir stratum, ft
4> - porosity.
A reservoir 50 feet thick with a porosity of 0.20 could contain
about 2.1 billion gallons of waste per square mile or 590,000 gallons
of waste within 50 feet of the well and 410 million gallons within %
mile of the well. Available pore volume could control the ultimate
storage capacity of an injection horizon if waste were injected into
a depleted gas reservoir, as has been contemplated by Crawford (49)
and Wainerdi (50), or if the areal boundaries of the injection horizon
were restricted by law or by the presence of other wells in the injection
horizon. If the areal boundaries of the injection horizon are restricted,
the rate of longitudinal dispersion of the moving fluid front could be
important. Dispersion occurs in homogeneous media (51) butcould be
particularly serious in fractured or cavernous strata where a plume
of waste could flow through a permeable channel far ahead of the
main body of injected liquid.
In most cases, the ultimate storage capacity of an injection well
is probably controlled by the rate at which injection pressure in-
creases at the desired injection rate. Injection pressure is a limiting
factor because:
1.	Excessive pressures cause hydraulic fracturing and consequent
possible damage to confining strata (52-54).
2.	The pressure capacity of injection well pumps, tubing, and
casing is limited.
3.	In some states, maximum injection pressures are specified by
regulatory agencies.
Although it is unlikely that hydraulic fracturing results in damage
to confining beds (55), it would seem prudent to consider the pressure
at which hydraulic fracturing occurs as being the maximum safe in-
jection pressure until this question is resolved, particularly in cases
where confining strata are relatively thin and vertical confinement
is essential.
Review and Evaluation

Hubbert and Willis (52) concluded that the hydraulic pressure
required to cause fracturing depends on the magnitude of regional
rock stresses, hole geometry, the character of the rock strata (presence
of flaws, etc.), and the penetrating quality of the fracturing fluid.
Theoretical considerations (52,56-58) lead to the prediction that
fractures will be formed in a plane perpendicular to the least regional
principal stress if other factors, such as pre-existing rock flaws, do not
interfere. In areas where active tectonic compression exists (California,
for example), the plane of least stress may be vertical. If so, the
fractures would be horizontal and the pressures necessary to initiate
fracturing would ordinarily be equal to or greater than those imposed
by the overburden. In tectonically relaxed areas, such as the Texas
and Louisiana Gulf Coast, the plane of least stress is horizontal.
In this case fractures will be vertical and will generally be formed at
a pressure less than that imposed by the overburden.
Overburden pressures are commonly assumed to build up at a rate
of 1 psi per foot of depth (23,59). The Subcommittee on Disposal
of Radioactive Waste of the American Petroleum Institute (55) has
stated that most formations will fracture hydraulically when fluid
pressure in the range of 0.6 to 1.0 psi per foot of depth is exerted
in the well bore at the injection horizon.
Petroleum industry experience with water injection wells (59,60) has
shown that anomalous increases in intake capacity of these wells occur
at some critical input pressure. What occurs at this pressure is not
certain in every case, since the increased intake of injection wells
could result from:
1.	Horizontal parting between adjacent vertical strata,
2.	opening of pre-existing cracks or joints,
3.	compaction of shales adjacent to or in the receiving formation,
4.	yielding of packers (59,60),
There is, however, agreementthatthecriticalinputpressure is generally
the pressure at which rupture of the receiving formation (hydraulic
fracturing) occurs (60).
Critical input pressures have been found to range from 0.47 to
1.43 psi per foot of depth in the Bradford area of Pennsylvania (59)
and from 0.52 to 1.82 psi per foot of depth in various shallow mid-
continent water injection wells (60). Values as low as 0.47 are con-
sidered to be anomalously low by Yuster and Calhoun (59). Few
of the critical input pressures listed by the above-cited writers are
less than 0.80 psi per foot of depth, while the majority are greater
than 1.00. The estimated critical input pressure or the safe injection
pressure for a waste injection well would seem, therefore, to be greater

than about 0.5 psi per foot of depth. The minimum input pressure
that could cause hydraulic fracturing in a saturated column of rock
would be that which would just exceed the hydrostatic pressure. The
hydrostatic pressure of a column of fresh water increases at about
0.43 psi per foot of depth. There is, however, no way of predicting
in advance exactly what the critical input pressure will be in an in-
jection well, but it can be estimated from oilfield experience in some
areas. Grandone and Holleyman (60) concluded that, though use of
an overburden factor of 1.00 (pressure of 1 psi per foot of depth
measured at the formation face) is satisfactory for estimating the
critical input pressure for most oilfield water flood projects tested in
the Kansas-Oklahoma area, it is too high for many projects in North
Texas. A method of testing injection wells to establish their critical
input pressure is described on page20. When the limiting value of
input pressure has been estimated or determined, the life of the in-
jection horizon can be computed as described on page 19.
Rate of pressure increase. The basic equation describing hydraulic
flow through porous media is the Darcy equation, which can be
written as:
0 - AK Ah
(i L
Q = volume rate of flow
A = average cross-sectional area perpendicular
to 1 i nes of fl ow
K = coefficient of permeability
jju = vi scosity of fl ui d
Ah = fluid potential loss along flow path
L = distance along direction of flow
The equation for Steady-state radial flow of an incompressible fluid
outward from a completely penetrating well can be developed as follows
(see Figure 2):
0 _ AK dh
fjt, dr
Since A — 2 7T rb
0 = ZirrbK dh
H dr
Review and Evaluation

Setting limits
re	hQ
Q J dr_ _ 27r bK y
^ fi
w	hw
q = -27TbK (hw-he)
Figure 2. Radial flow outward from a completely penetrating well.

Since equation 3 is an equilibrium flow equation, time does not
appear in the equation and no rate of pressure buildup can be com-
puted. Obviously, however, as- a constant fluid potential front moves
outward from an injection well to some larger radius (re), the potential
at the well bore (hw) must increase, if the injection rate (Q) is held
constant. Equation 3 shows that once equilibrium flow has been
established throughout an aquifer, no further pressure increase would
be expected if the physical conditions do not change.
The rate of pressure increase that occurs before equilibrium flow
has been established can be computed from nonequilibrium flow
equations, as shown by Theis (61) and deLaguna and Blomke (62).
If the injection horizon is extensive enough to be considered as in-
finite and is homogeneous and isotropic, the pressure increase at the
bore of a completely penetrating well can be computed (63,64) from
the formula:
00 _u
Ah = 114.6-2- f du
Ah = fluid potential increase in feet of water
Q = rate of injection in 
Many aquifers suitable for waste injection will probably be extensive
and uniform enough to allow application of the above-cited equations.
Equations that have been developed by ground-water hydrologists
for many other aquifer conditions have been reviewed by Wenzel (65),
Ferris and others (66), and Walton (67).
The difficulties in computing injection well life lie in the selection
of equations that conform to the fluid flow conditions and to the
hydrologic boundaries of the disposal horizon, and in the determination
of the average physical properties of the injection horizon.
Injectivity index. According to Grandone and Holleyman (60),
an important criterion of the behavior of water input wells is the
injectivity index or intake capacity per unit of pressure differential
at the injection horizon. This measure of intake capacity can be used
to follow the intake characteristics of an injection well and to predict
the need for remedial measures (11).
Dickey and Andresen (68) and Grandone and Holleyman (60)
have shown that the behavior of an injection well can be characterized
by determination of a "restricted" injectivity index. This index is
determined by shutting in an input well until the wellhead pressure
is falling very slowly, then injecting water for short intervals at several
successively higher pressures. When the rate of injection is plotted
against the injection pressure on rectilinear coordinatepaper, a straight
line is commonly obtained, whose slope is the "restricted" injectivity
The injectivity index divided by the thickness of the injection interval
gives the specific injectivity index (Figure 3), which is a useful unit
for comparing injection well performance (60).
The injectivity index as described above is analogous to the specific
capacity of water wdls as used in ground-water development (69,70).
Critical input pressure. If an injectivity test is carried to a high-
enough pressure, a point of inflection occurs on the pressure-versus-input
curve, indicating an abrupt increase in the water acceptance per unit
of pressure (Figure 3). This point of inflection occurs at the critical
input pressure, which is generally agreed to be the pressure at which
rupture of the strata (hydraulic fracturing?) occurs (60). The concepts
of critical input pressure and hydraulic fracturing are further consider-
ed in the section concerning factors that restrict ultimate injection
Grandone and Holleyman (60) have shown that injectivity tests
can be duplicated, even after the critical input pressure has been
exceeded. If so, it seems unlikely that permanent damage can have
been done to the confining beds by temporarily exceeding the critical
input pressure. The American Petroleum Institute (55) has stated that

Figure 3. Injectivfty characteristics of a water injection wed, Kansas (60).
"subsequent reduction in pressure will usually result in closing of the
(hydraulic) fractures." If such a test causes no permanent damage to
an injection horizon, it could be used to determine the maximum safe
injection pressure in a newly drilled waste injection well.
Pumping and injection tests, In-place formation-testing methods
offer a possible means of obtaining data that will permit evaluation of
the long-term waste acceptance characteristics of an injection horizon.
Querio and Powers (71) showed that pumping tests provided informa-
tion that permitted accurate prediction of the behavior of the fluid
levels in an observation well near a waste injection well. In other
cases, the behavior of injection wells during relatively short periods
of time has been extrapolated to indicate their probable long-term
performance (13,14,72),
Review and Evaluation

Testing of possible injection horizons can be carried out in deep
wells by drill-stem testing, before actual completion of the well. This
testing permits determination of reservoir pressure and average per-
meability, and evaluation of the extent to which drilling has altered
the formation characteristics in the immediate vicinity of the well
(40). Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of drill-stem test results
have been discussed by Lynch (40). His analysis of drill-stem tests
was based on pressure build-up data obtained from a single well
during production testing and subsequent closing in of the well. The
methods applied to production testing can also be applied to injection
testing (73).
The pumping tests used by ground-water hydrologists (66) are
generally designed to be used with observation wells. An exception is
the analysis of the recovery of a single pumped well devised by Theis
(63). This method allows determination of the coefficient of trans-
missibility (permeability) and, if the effective radius of the well is
known, determination of the coefficient of storage (compressibility).
Analyses of drill-stem tests and pumping tests are generally made
by assuming that the reservoir is of infinite extent and enclosed by
completely impermeable beds. If pumping or injection tests are of
short duration, so that pressure fronts do not extend to hydrologic
boundaries, aquifer properties can be determined by using equations
that apply to infinite aquifers (66). These properties could not, however,
be used to predict accurately the long-term behavior of an injection
well if these barriers were within the radius of influence of the well
during the longer period of injection.
Horner (74) showed that pressure build-up tests could be used to
indicate the presence of liner barriers, such as faults, in the vicinity
of a well. The distance of a barrier from a well can be determined
by equations given by Dolan and others (75). Ferris and others (66)
and Walton (67) discussed analyses used in evaluation of ground-water
aquifers in the presence of leaky confining beds and hydrologic
Completion of Injection Wells
Well completion consists of inserting the well casing, cementing the
casing in place, perforating or slotting the casing if the hole is com-
pletely cased, and stimulating the injection horizon. Proper completion
of an injection well insures that the injection horizon is segregated
from other strata and improves the operating characteristics of the well.
Selection of the completion method can be based on oilfield ex-
perience if the injection well is in an oil-producing area, but if it is not,

selection must be made on the basis of areal geological data and data
obtained during drilling of the well (41).
Open-hole well completion methods can be used in competent
(strong and cohesive) strata (Figure 4) and are advantageous because
they are cheaper (38), because they facilitate treatment of the injection
horizon in the event of plugging (41), and because no casing is exposed
to corrosive waste fluids at the injection horizon.
\ / ij-	. a
« > •	i	,	* •.«.'»
' "* - * \ , • ,. » « ,•)_
•:>••• x
•i	J
Figure 4 Schematic diagram of a waste injection well completed in competent sandstone
Review and Evaluation

The design of a casing program depends on well depth, fluid
pressures, type of well completion, expected future remedial work on
the well, and in some cases, the expected future drilling time in the
casing. In addition to the engineering considerations, state regulatory
bodies may have rules concerning the casing of waste injection wells
(for example, Texas). Many of these agencies and the Federal Govern-
ment have regulations governing the casing of oil and gas wells
(see Reference 76, chapter 20), and these regulations may, in some
cases, apply to waste injection wells.
In deep wells, more than one diameter of casing is necessary.
Larger diameter surface casing may extend from a few hundred to
several thousand feet below the surface (Figure 4). Surface casing is
used to protect fresh-water aquifers from contamination by salt water
from deeper strata, and its design is, therefore, often regulated by law.
Casing of smaller diameter is run through the surface casing to
the top of the disposal horizon (open-hole completion) or to the
bottom of the hole (completion by perforating) to close off salt-water
aquifers and zones of incompetent rock and protect gas- and oil-
bearing strata. State and Federal laws dictate, in some cases, the seat-
ing, cementing, and pressure testing of this casing (intermediate and
production casing) in oilfields.
If waste is pumped ^through the casing without tubing, corrosion
can be a problem. Casing can, however, be internally coated with
cemetit or plastic to prevent corrosion.
Casing can develop leaks as a result of corrosion or excessive
pressure. Casing failure can be detected by radioactive tracer injection
and subsequent gamma ray logging (77,78), by flowmeter logging
(79), or by caliper surveys.
Where corrosive wastes are to be disposed, tubing should be used
inside the casing, since it can be readily replaced whereas corroded
casing cannot. Tubing can be of a corrosion resistant alloy or of
plastic, or ordinary tubing can be plastic or cement lined. Epoxy-
resin plastic tubing, completely resistant to corrosion, has been success-
fully used in salt-water disposal wells (37).

Regulatory body
Oil and Gas Board
Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
Arizona State Lands Commission
Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission
El Dorado
Department of Natural Resources—Oil
San Francisco

and Gas Division

Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
Board of Conservation
Oil and Gas Commission
Bureau of Mines and Geology
Department of Mines and Minerals
Indiana Department of Conservation-

Division of Oil and Gas

State Corporation Commission
Department of Mines and Minerals
Louisiana Department of Conservation
Baton Rouge
Department of Geology, Mines, and

Water Resources

Michigan Conservation Commission-

Oil and Gas Division

Mississippi Oil and Gas Board
J ackson
Missouri Geological Survey
Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
Nebraska Conservation and Survey Div.
Nevada Oil and Gas Conservation


New Mexico
New Mexico Oil Conservation
Santa Fe


New York
State Science Service
North Carolina
Department of Conservation and


North Dakota
Industrial Commission of North Dakota
Department of Industrial Relations

Division of Mines

Corporation Commission of Oklahoma
Oklahoma City
Department of Geology and Mineral


Department of Mines—Oil and Gas


South Dakota
Oil and Gas Board
Department of Conservation
Texas Railroad Commission-

Oil & Gas Div,

General Land Office—Oil and Gas Div.
Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
Salt Lake City
Department of Labor and Industry
Big Stone Gap
Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
West Virginia
Department of Mines—Oil and Gas Div.
Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation


United States Geological Survey


Review and Evaluation

Packers can be set at the bottom of a casing string (Figure 4) to
segregate it completely from the corrosive fluids that flow through the
tubing or from the high pressures that maybe used in tubing. Packers
are recommended (37) only where conditions require their use, since
they may become corroded and difficult to remove.
The annulus between the rock strata and the casing is cemented
to protect the pipe from external corrosion by subsurface waters,
increase casing strength, prevent mixing of the waters contained in
the aquifers behind the casing, and prevent waste from being injected
into aquifers other than the disposal horizon. Cementing- is done by
oilfield service companies, which have extensive experience in this
technique. According to Baker (80), in the past 35 years over 2 x/%
million wells have tyeen cemented by one service company.
Since the cementing of casing in deep wells is performed, in part,
to protect potable water and oil- and gas-bearing strata, oil well and
gas well cementing is subject to regulation by state and Federal
agencies (Table 2). A summary of cementing regulations as applied
to oil wells and gas wells has been published by the American
Petroleum Institute (76). These regulations may apply, in some cases,
to deep waste injection wells.
Oil well- and gas well-cementing regulations generally provide for
completely filling the annular space between the surface casing and the
wall of the hole with cement, and for cementing a minimum number
of feet at the base of the interior (production) casing. The American
Petroleum Institute (55) has suggested that the main string of casing,
for a well to dispose radioactive waste, be set in a hole of sufficient
diameter to permit at least 1 inch of cement to be placed outside the
pipe for its entire length (hole diameter at least 2 inches greater than
casing outside diameter).
Oil well- and gas well-cementing regulations often provide for an
appropriate well log to insure that cementing has been accomplished
and for pressure testing of a cemented well to insure that leakage
does not occur behind improperly cemented casing. Tests for im-
properly cemented casing can also be made by injecting radioactive
tracers in gas (81,82) or liquid (77,78) in conjunction with gamma
ray surveys.

Increasing the acceptance rate of injection wells by chemical or
mechanical treatment may be desirable. A common chemical treatment
is the injection of arid (hydrochloric, hydrofluoric, etc.) into the dis-
posal horizon to dissolve calcium carbonate or other acid-soluble
material. Acidizing is obviously most effective in limestones or dolo-
mites but is also used in sandstones to dissolve the carbonates, or
flocculate or destroy clay minerals (83). Detergents have also been
used to increase injection well acceptance (84).
Common oilfield mechanical treatments are scratching, swabbing,
washing, and underreaming the well bore; "shooting" an uncased
stratum with explosives; or hydraulically fracturing either an open
horizon or a cased and perforated horizon (37). "Shooting" a well
consists of using nitroglycerin or other explosives to remove deposits
from the strata and fracture them. The possibility of damaging the
casing, and the cleaning out necessary after shooting discourage the
use of this method (37).
Hydraulic fracturing is used in the oil industry to increase the
acceptance rate of brine disposal and water flood input wells. This
technique has been suggested for increasing the injection rate of
industrial-waste-disposal wells (71,80,85). That this method is entirely
safe for waste disposal wells is not certain, since some authors (52,53)
have suggested that vertical fractures (produced by hydraulic fractur-
ing) that extend through the cap rock could permit fluids to escape
into vertically adjacent aquifers.*
Permeability Reduction During Operation
An important problem in the injection of waste into deep aquifers
is the danger of reduction in permeability of the disposal horizon
during operation, which could occur as a result of the plugging of
*The American Petroleum Institute Subcommittee on the Disposal of Radioactive
Waste (55) stated that "Experience in the petroleum industry shows that damage
of this kind (hydraulic fracturing) is unlikely to result in the rupture of overlying
Review and Evaluation

pores by suspended solids or entrained gas, or through reactions
between injected and interstitial fluids or between injected fluids and
aquifer minerals.
Plugging of the injection horizon in the immediate vicinity of the
injection well bore by suspended solids is a common problem in
oilfield operations. These solids may be present initially, or when
waters that are in chemical equilibrium are subjected to changes in
temperature, pressure, or gas content, dissolved constituents, parti-
cularly manganese or iron, may precipitate (47,86). These precipitates
can plug the injection well face or pores near the face. Other solids
can precipitate through reaction of corrosive waters with pumping
equipment and well casing or tubing (86,87). Entrained and dissolved
air increases the corrosiveness of water (47,86), and entrained air
could also act directly to plug the pores of the injection horizon,
since the permeability of a sandstone to water containing only "a small
amount of entrained gas is much less than its permeability to water
alone (88). Water to be injected in oilfield operations is, therefore,
routinely treated to remove suspended solids and dissolved iron and
manganese, and deaerated before injection to prevent corrosion and
plugging problems.
Plugging at or near the well bore can also be caused by bacteria,
algae, and mold on the sand particles (89,90)', by the sheaths of
capsulated bacteria and iron bacteria (90)', and by sulfate-reducing
bacteria that produce H2S, which reacts with iron to form insoluble
FeS2- Bacteria can be detected by the procedures suggested by the
American Petroleum Institute (91), and can be controlled with various
chemicals (90,92), but caution should be exercised since many other-
wise good bactericides produce insoluble products when added to
oilfield brines (89).
Stahl (93) briefly reviewed the problem of the incompatibility of
injected and interstitial waters and concluded that, while older literature
mentioned the possibility of plugging by insoluble precipitates,
laboratory evidence to that time was contradictory. Work by Laird
and Cogbiil (94) showed that severe permeability reduction resulted
from the simultaneous injection of incompatible waters into large
cylindrical cores. Bernard (95) found, on the contrary, that little
permeability reduction was caused by the simultaneous injection of
incompatible waters or by the displacement of one water with another
incompatible with the first. The effect of incompatibility on permeability
reduction is apparently related to the degree of mixing of the incom-
patible waters.
Many recent theoretical and experimental studies have been con-
cerned with the dispersion of fluid boundaries during displacement
of a fluid with another miscible one in porous media. Harleman

and others (96-98) and Nielsen and Biggar (99-101) have reviewed
much of this literature and have presented new experimental evidence
showing that, even in homogeneous isotropic media, streamers of the
displacing fluid penetrate into the displaced fluid in advance of the
main boundary. Some chemical mixing of displacing and displaced
fluids would, therefore, be expected to occur during this dispersion.
Hence, reduction in permeability to injected water could occur
through precipitation reactions between waste water and interstitial
water or waste water and aquifer minerals, through production of
gaseous reaction products, through development of reaction coatings
on aquifer minerals, or through dispersion of clay minerals as a
result of ion exchange or salinity reduction in interstitial waters.
The chemical character of waste water would be expected to be
somewhat different at each injection site. The chemical character of
deeply buried subsurface waters has been studied in oilfields, and
many analyses of oilfield waters have been published (e.g., 102-111).
Oilfield waters commonly range in salinity from practically fresh
water to water containing 300,000 ppm dissolved salts. According
to Levorsen (23), the greatest recorded concentration is that noted
by Case (112) in the Salina Formation of Michigan where the brine
contained 642,798 ppm dissolved salts. The most common dissolved
constituents in oilfield waters are sodium, calcium, magnesium, and
potassium, which commonly combine with chloride, sulfate, carbonate,
and bicarbonate. Other constituents listed by various writers as present
in oilfield waters are free CO2 and H2S, iron, barium, lithium,
strontium, iodine, bromine, boron, copper, manganese, silver, tin,
vandadium, zinc, lead, cadmium, fluorine, phosphorus, silica, and
nitrogen. Relatively large concentrations of strontium and barium
have been found in some oilfield waters (113,114). Other chemical
elements would be expected to be present in addition to tfiose listed
above, since many oilfield waters are derived from sea water, which
at present contains other elements.
As was pointed out by Stiff (115), the basic chemical charac-
teristics of the water from a given aquifer can be similar over a large
area. The character of the water from various aquifers can, however,
vary widely as can the characteristics of the water within a given
horizon in some cases (116). Probably, a safe assumption is that, for
a preliminary estimation of water compatibility, the water analysis
from a given aquifer within a short distance of a possible injection
well site would be representative of that at the injection site.
MacLeod (17) and Selm and Hulse (117) have listed the reactions
that can cause plugging precipitates to form:
1. Precipitation of alkaline earths such as calcium, barium,
Review and Evaluation

strontium, and magnesium as relatively insoluble carbonates,
sulfates, orthophosphates, fluorides, and hydroxides;*
2.	precipitation of heavy metals such as iron, aluminum, cadmium,
zinc, manganese, chromium, and others as insoluble carbonates,
bicarbonates, hydroxides, orthophosphates, and sulfides;
3.	precipitation of oxidation reduction reaction products;
4.	polymerization of resin-like materials to solids under aquifer
temperature and pressure.
Henkel (10,11) reported testing brine and waste water compatibility
by allowing a mixture of the two liquids to stand for from 8 to 24
hours at the approximate aquifer temperature. Stahl (93) stated that
this method is common practice before starting a secondary recovery
process in the oil industry. The mixture is considered compatible if
it remains free of precipitates. This criterion may not be entirely
satisfactory in all cases, since reactions may require considerable time
for completion (7,17), and reaction products other than precipitates,
such as gases, can cause important reduction in permeability to water.
In testing the compatibility of aquifer water and waste, the use
of water from the actual disposal horizon is desirable since even small
differences in brine characteristics can cause unexpected reactions (15).
In addition, synthesizing a particular brine in the laboratory may be
impossible, since natural brines apparently supersaturated in certain
salts are not uncommon (3).
In circumstances where waste water and aquifer water are incom-
patible and treating the waste to make it compatible is impossible or
impractical, a front of nonreactive water might be injected ahead of
the waste water to form a buffer between the waste and the aquifer
water (7,15).
A small number of minerals comprise nearly the entire mass of
sandstone aquifers. The average sandstone, as determined by Clarke
(120), consists of 66.8 percent Si02 (mostly quartz), 11,5 percent
feldspars, 11.1 percent carbonate minerals, 6.6 percent micas and clays,
1,8 percent iron oxides, and 2.2 percent other minerals. Limestone and
dolomite aquifers are primarily CaC03 and CaMg(C03)2, but impure
ones may contain as much as 50 percent noncarbonate constituents
such as SiOrj and clay minerals.
Quartz, the main constituent of sandstones, is the least reactive of
the common minerals, and for all practical purposes can be considered
nonreactive except in highly alkaline solutions (85). Clays have been
demonstrated to react with highly basic or highly acidic solutions
(121-125). A waste would not necessarily need to be highly acidic
*Heck (114) has discussed the problem of precipitation of BaS04,' Stiff and Davis
(118), CaS04; and Stiff and Davis (119), CaC03-

to attack an aquifer mineral, since some relatively weak acid may
strongly attack certain clay minerals (121,123,126). The degree of
reaction of feldspars and micas with injected solutions is not certain,
but some reaction would no doubt occur (85).
Sandstone aquifers are often cemented with carbonate minerals,
which react with acid solutions. Reaction of acid wastes with the car-
bonate cement in sandstone would cause an evolution of CO2 that
could both increase the pressure and reduce permeability. In the special
case of acid aluminum nitrate wastes, Roedder (85) has shown that
the reaction of the waste with CaCOg results in a gelatinous pre-
cipitate that would plug the pores in a sandstone containing sufficient
carbonate minerals. Sandstones also commonly contain gypsum and
limonite as cementing material, and these two minerals can be dissolved
and reprecipitated to cause blocking of pores (127,128)
The brines in deep limestone or dolomite aquifers will, in most
cases, be in chemical equilibrium with the aquifer, and precipitation or
solution will not be occurring. If, therefore, injected wastes are at
a lower pH than aquifer waters are, solution of the carbonate aquifer
material will occur. This reaction could be beneficial, as long as no
gelatinous precipitates result, such as those that occur when acid
aluminum nitrate wastes react with CaCC>3. If injected wastes mix with
aquifer water and raise its pH, dissolved salts could precipitate and
cause plugging of the pores in the limestone.
Clay minerals are common constituents of sedimentary rocks.
Roedder (85) stated that sandstones containing less than 0.1 percent
clay minerals may not exist anywhere in the United States, except
possibly in small deposits of exceedingly pure glass sand. Clay
minerals are known to reduce the permeability of sandstone to water
as compared with its peremeability to air (129,130). The degree of
permeability reduction to water as compared with air is termed the
water sensitivity of a sandstone by Baptist and Sweeney (130).
The water sensitivity of clay-bearing sandstones increases with
decreasing water salinity, decreasing valence of the cations in solution,
and increasing pH of the water (129, 131, 132). The water sen-
sitivity of a sand depends on the type of clay mineral as well as the
amount. Plughes (133) pointed out that the properties that cause
clay minerals to reduce sandstone's permeability to water are exhibited
by montmorillonite to a marked degree, by illite to a lesser degree,
and by kaolinite to a relatively unimportant degree. Concepts that
can be used to explain the above-mentioned observations have been
discussed by Van Olphen (134).
Water sensitivity of sandstones can be determined directly by
permeability tests with various waters and air or indirectly by X-ray
diffraction, differential thermal analysis, or water vapor absorption
measurements (130, 135).
Review and Evaluation

Optimum permeability of water-sensitive sandstones can be main-
tained by injecting waters of high salinity and low pH, but acidic
brines present corrosion problems. Torrey (136) has suggested an
alternative procedure that consists of acidizing a well and then mixing
a nonionic detergent with the injected water.
Monitoring Injection Wells
It would seem desirable to monitor injection wells and the travel
of injected waste in order to detect failure of the well casing or cement,
escape of waste through fractured or faulted cap rocks or through other
abandoned or operating wells, and loss of permeability in the injection
horizon during injection.
As fluid is injected into a confined aquifer, the pressure needed to
maintain a constant injection rate increases with time. The injectivity
index* should not, however, change unless the physical character
of the reservoir is changed.
A sudden increase in the intake rate of an injection well, when no
remedial treatment has been performed, probably indicates the opening
of horizontal or vertical fractures in the injection horizon and possibly
in the confining beds (53,60) or the failure of well facilities, such as
casing, cement, or packers (59). A decrease in injectivity index probably
indicates decreased permeability at or near the face of the injection
horizon as a result of plugging by suspended solids or chemical
precipitates, the dispersion of swelling clays, and so forth.
Pressure monitoring of the fluid column between injection tubing
and well casing is suggested as a means of injection well monitoring
by the American Petroleum Institute (37). If a packer is used to
segregate the fluid in this annular space from the fluid being injected
(Figure 4), monitoring of the pressure should permit detection of
tubing or packer leaks. This monitoring was required by the Michigan
State Water Resources Commission (137) for an oil refinery waste
injection well.
A nondischarging well constructed in the immediate vicinity of a
waste injection well for the purpose of monitoring the travel of injected
wastes may be of limited practical value. This kind of observation
well in the disposal horizon will monitor only a narrow band of flowing
input rate
~Injectivity index =—	
differential press
injection horizon

liquid, at the most, twice the width of the well itself (61). Thus, an
observation well would have to be rather accurately located down-
gradient from an injection well, if the flow path of waste is narrow.
Probably, as Theis (138) has pointed out, in a formation of low
permeability, injected waste would initially assume the shape of an
expanding cylinder, then, over a long period of time, disperse over
a zone thousands of feet wide. On the other hand, in a very permeable
formation, injected waste might tend to flow away from the injection
well in narrow channels of high permeability rather than disperse
evenly. In either case nondischarging observation wells would probably
not be helpful for monitoring waste travel. In highly permeable forma-
tions, the observation well might not intercept the flow path of the
waste, and in formations of low permeability, the waste would disperse
so slowly that it would not reach observation wells for many years.
Discharging water wells in fresh-water aquifers above an injection
horizon would provide a means of detecting leakage from the disposal
horizon; these wells should be carefully watched for signs of contamina-
tion. Leakage could occur through fractured or faulted confining beds,
through corroded or ruptured well casing, behind the casing in an
improperly cemented well, or through improperly plugged abandoned
wells that penetrate the disposal horizon.
Heat Generation
Heat generated by the decay of injected radioactive waste material
may be a serious problem in the disposal of this waste into deep wells
(85,138), but this has not been reported as a problem in the injection
of other wastes.
Some of the theoretical aspects of the heat generation problem have
been considered by Kaufman and others (51), Roedder (85), Birch
(139), and Skibitzke (140). Hess and others (54) feel that the prob-
lem of heat generation in the disposal of radioactive waste could be
solved by dilution, since the volume of waste is small enough that
dilution ratios ranging from 1:1 to 1,000:1 are feasible.
Injection wells can fail in different senses. The most important
type of failure, from a public-interest viewpoint, would be one that
could involve contamination of fresh water or other valuable natural
resources. Other types of failure, such as plugging of the injection
horizon, can also occur.
Review and Evaluation

The Kansas State Board of Health (4) has reported that about 10
cases of habitual failure in oilfield brine injection wells are reported
to their office each year. Well failure is attributed primarily to excessive
injection pressure in combination with inadequate casing and improper
well cementation. This type of failure could result in the contamination
of ground water.
Ground-water contamination from oilfield brines has been reported
as having possibly occurred through improperly plugged abandoned
wells or through wells that injected brine into near-surface horizons
at high pressure (141). Hallden (82) discussed an instance of ground-
water contamination above a gas storage reservoir. Contamination
in this case could have been a result of leakage through abandoned
wells, leakage around improperly cemented wells, or leakage through
permeable or faulted confining beds. The Dow Chemical Company
(142) attempted to injectbrine into a subsurface horizon but abandoned
this procedure because the saline water was returning to the surface
through other wells that pierced the injection horizon.
In addition to the above-mentioned types of failure, contamina-
tion of ground water or other natural resources could occur through
lateral movement of injected fluids within the injection horizon.
The failure of injection wells as a result of improper construction
is avoidable since the engineering knowledge that will virtually assure
the reliability of well facilities has been developed. The escape of
injected waste through abandoned wells that penetrate the injection
horizon could, in most cases, be prevented by adequate study of the
records of state agencies and oilfield information services. Abandoned
wells that are not registered exist, however, in some states, and these
wells can, if improperly plugged, provide a mechanism for leakage
of fluid into the strata above or below the injection horizon. The
leakage of injected waste through the strata that confine the injection
horizon is not likely to occur if competent geologic evaluation of the
injection horizon is performed.
Mau stated in the Industrial Wastes Forum (5), that "Kansas
has more brine-disposal wells than all the rest of the states combined
. ... if brines are disposed of into mineral-like water formations
below an impervious geological formation, no danger will be afforded
to a water supply provided the injection well is properly constructed."
A report by Koenig (38) summarized the estimated cost of injection
well construction and operation according to information available
from the petroleum industry. He considered well construction costs,
including drilling, testing, and completing; pumping equipment costs;
GPO 820-193—5

water-conditioning-facility costs; and the operating cost of waste treat-
ment and injection. These costs were computed for the 81 possible
combinations that can arise from three cases for each of four variable
parameters chosen for study. The variable parameters and the cases
examined were well depth (3,000, 7,000, and 12,000 feet), daily
volume (1,000, 100,000, arid 2 million gpd), specific gravity of
waste (1.00, 1.005, and 1.187), and injection pressure (0, 260, and
900 psi). The parameters selected by Koenig appear to be realistic
when compared with existing deep-well injection facilities described
in published articles.
Fixed costs include those for well construction, pumping equipment,
and water-conditioning facilities. According to Koenig's analysis,
fixed costs would account for 50 to 80 percent of the total cost of
injecting a unit volume of waste in a 1,000 gpd system. The percent
contribution of fixed costs increases as the injection rate decreases
and would be expected to account for nearly the total cost per volume
of injected waste in systems that inject only small amounts of waste.
costs F-Ott 1^'jb .trid
NLSPtCI IVUY I on fAiNf.it I !<0M
cm in[)u?>rrv imiii ing cosrss
U. S AVERAGf 19cj3 19^
I9b3. 1966, l9b9K:OSI COR
RECTf.D TO 1961 i
T -- - - T	,	T- - T	
	i	J	i	i.	J		J	i	J	
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
DEPTH, thousandsof ft
Figure 5. Cost of oil and gas well construction (38).
The total average cost of well construction alone, based on data
from the petroleum industry, is summarized in Figure 5. This cost
compares closely to Koenig's synthetically computed total well con-
struction costs, which are a summation of the costs, obtained from
various sources, of drilling, testing, and completing a well.
Fixed costs of centrifugal and triplex pumping equipment are shown
in Figure 6. In preparing this figure, Koenig computed the costs
of triplex pumps on the assumption that motors were available in a
continuous series of horsepowers, though these pumps were actually
available only in the two horsepowers indicated. The selection of
pumps for waste injection is based primarily on the quantity of waste
to be injected, the wellhead injection pressure, the corrosiveness of the
waste, and the relative economics of the various pumps available.
Review and Evaluation

Figure 6. Cost of pumping equipment in 1961
(pump, motor accessories installed and wired) (38).
Centrifugal pumps have in the past been suitable for low-pressure
(ordinarily less than 300 psi) service (37), but single-stage centrifugal
pumps have recently become available that are capable of operating
at relatively high pressures (147). Centrifugal pumps are considered
by Donaldson (143) to be better suited for waste injection systems
because they offer more flexibility, lower maintenance cost, minimal
leakage, and greater safety.
Fixed costs of water-conditioning facilities, based on 11 existing
oilfield brine treatment plants in East Texas and California, are
shown In Figure 7. The East Texas conditioning system, upon which
the cost in Figure 7 is based, consists of chemical flocculation, sedi-
mentation, filtration, and chlorination. The California plants are
similar, but do not use chemical coagulation. Chemical treatment
with chlorine and polyphosphate is employed in the California plants
for control of microorganisms and scale.
Koenig (38) concluded that the injection capacity of a well has the
greatest influence on unit costs, that well depth is second in importance
and pressure third, and that density of the waste has the least effect.
His analysis is useful in placing the cost of waste disposal by deep-well
injection in the proper perspective, but his data are necessarily based
on the average cost of oil well construction and completion and on the
cost of oilfield brine pre-injection treatment. The cost of injection well
construction and completion and of industrial-waste pre-injection treat-


nN, \


N \
Review and Evaluation




log for

of aban-
State agency
of plans
of plat
Water Improvement Commission


Division of Health, DHEW



Water Pollution Control Commission
Division of Oil and Gas




Not used

Water Pollution Commission
Board of Health

Do not approve

H awaii
Department of Health
Board of Land and Natural Resources
Department of Health

Department of Reclamation
Sanitary Water Board

Department of Mines and Minerals
Stream Pollution Control Board


Department of Conservation
Natural Resources Council

Department of Health

Corporate Commission
Water Pollution Commission
Department of Mines and Minerals

Conservation Commission

Board of Health

Division of Sanitary Engineering, DHEW


No information

Department of Public Health

Water Resources Commission
Water Pollution Control Commission


Department of Health

Oil and Gas Board

Require brines from oil and gas well to be returned to

strata from which they originated

Board of Health

Prohibit injection of wastes other than salt water

Water Pollution Board
Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
Department of Water Resources

Not allowed

New Hampshire

New Jersey
Department of Conservation

Department of Health
New Mexico
Department of Public Health
New York
Department of Health
North Carolina

No information

North Dakota
State Geologist

Water Pollution Board
Corporation Commission

Department of Health

Water Resources
Sanitary Authority
Sanitary Water Board
Puerto Rico
Department of Health

Aqueduct and Sewage Authority
Rhode Island

South Carolina
Water Pollution Control Authority

Not used

South Dakota

Not permitted

Water Commission
Water Pollution Control Board

Oil and Gas Commission

Not used

Water Control Board
Virgin Islands

Pollution Control Commission
(Department of Health if sewage is involved)

West Virginia
Water Resources Board


Not allowed

Department of Health

a Prohibit disposal of waste into strata bearing water that is used or	^Oil field brine only,
suitable for use as a domestic water supply. Oil and gas wells only.
If waste disposal wells should be used, the Water Pollution Commission	® in some instances,
requirement that a certificate of approval must be secured for sewers	* For certain specific wastes,
and waste treatment facilities would apply.	Soil and gas Field wastes (?).

5 shows that the average total cost of a 1,750-foot oil or gas well is
about $17,500. The cost of one 100-horsepower centrifugal pump is
$6,500 (Figure 6). The cost of a water-conditioning plant to inject
288,000 gpd (200 gpm), shown in Figure 7, is about $45,000. The
total cost of this hypothetical waste injection system is $69,000.
The total cost of the above-listed existing injection well systems
ranges from about 60 percent less to 700 percent greater than the
$69,000 estimate for a 1,750-foot well, pump, and water-conditioning
plant. The $30,000 injection well system listed above includes no
water-conditioning equipment. The extreme range in cost in the above-
listed existing systems is probably caused by variation in cost of the
surface facilities, rather than of the injection wells themselves.
Donaldson (143) estimated that the cost to be anticipated for an
injection system with a 3,000-foot well under favorable conditions is
$200,000. The estimated cost of the surface equipment constitutes
$125,000 of this total.
The results of a recent questionnaire circulated to each of the 50
states by the Conference of State Sanitary Engineers (144) are sum-
marized in Table 3. Agencies in 34 states appear to allow the con-
struction of waste injection wells subject to certain requirements. Two
states have regulations that apply only to oilfield brine injection wells;
four specify that they do not, by policy, allow the construction of waste
injection wells; three replied that waste injection wells are not used;
five apparently do not discourage the use of waste injection wells but
do not have specific requirements for them; and two supplied no
Correspondence with the various states has shown that the results
shown in Table 3 can be misleading in some cases, since only one
state (Texas) has laws that pertain specifically to deep industrial-
waste injection wells. The requirements shown in Table 3 for states
other than Texas pertain specifically to oilfield brine injection wells
or to waste disposal systems in general.
In addition to the four states that indicated that deep-well waste
injection is not allowed, Minnesota presently allows only the injection
of potable water, and Ohio and Mississippi allow only the injection of
oilfield brines. Many other states (for example, Delaware, Florida,
Idaho, Oregon) do not completely rule out the use of deep injection
wells, but because of geologic considerations, as discussed in an
earlier section of this paper, suitable sites for injection wells are not
available or are extremely restricted.

The technology of locating, drilling, testing, completing, and utilizing
deep wells has been developed by the petroleum industry. This know-
ledge, especially in the area of brine injection and water flooding for
secondary recovery of oil, is applicable to the problem of the injection
of industrial wastes. Certain problems pertaining to the injection of
industrial wastes have not, however, been adequately considered.
General Geologic Considerations
To the knowledge of the writer, the locations of existing waste
injection wells have not been selected with the objective of confining
injected waste laterally within a specified geologic structure or within
some specified radius of an injection well. Such a procedure may not
always be practical, but, under some circumstances, it may be desirable
to store waste in a predetermined manner rather than allow it to
circulate randomly into the disposal horizon. This procedure would be
advantageous, since it would allow a rather precise knowledge of the
underground location of injected waste and would, perhaps, permit its
recovery if so desired.
To restrict the lateral spread of injected waste, without use of artificial
hydrologic boundaries, methods would have to be developed for pre-
dicting the rate of mixing of injected waste with interstitial waters and
the rate of diffusion of waste away from the center of injection under
various hydrologic conditions.
A specific problem of this type is the safe location of injection wells
near the margins of synclinal basins and in coastal-plain areas. In
these cases, strata contain fresh water near the outcrop, and salt water
and commercial hydrocarbon accumulations at depth down the dip of
the seaward-inclined strata. To select the safe location of injection wells
with respect to fresh water and oil and gas wells, equations to predict
rate and direction of dispersion of injected waste under hydrodynamic
conditions would have to be developed and tested.
Areas Geologically Suitable for Deep-Well Injection
of Waste
As has been discussed, studies of some major synclinal basins and
the Atlantic and Gull Coastal Plains have been carried out to define
their general suitability for the injection of radioactive waste. These
studies are also useful for defining the suitability of these areas for the
disposal of other industrial wastes.
Elimination of certain areas as potential sites for the injection of
industrial waste is possible from the most general geologic considera-
tions. After outlining the synclinal basins and areas generally unsuitable
Review and Evaluation

for deep-well waste injection large areas remain (Figure 1) that have
not been evaluated in regard to their general suitability for the deep-
well injection of industrial waste. Such an evaluation can, in many
cases, be made from existing geologic literature.
Evaluation of the Disposal Horizon
As fluid is injected into saturated porous media, the injection pressure
can be shown to increase with time. Petroleum industry experience with
water injection wells has shown that, atsomecritical input pressure, an
abrupt increase in the water acceptance per unit of pressure occurs.
Al present consideration of this critical input pressure as the limiting
safe injection pressure seems prudent, since the increased intake rate
may result from hydraulic fracturing that could conceivably damage the
confining strata. It is not, however, certain that hydraulic fractures, if
they do occur, are vertical or that they damage the confining beds if
they are vertical.
Research is needed to determine the influence, if any, of hydraulic
fracturing on confining beds and establish a means of safely deter-
mining or predicting the maximum safe injection pressure. This is an
important problem since the useful life of an injection well may be
controlled by the maximum safe injection pressure, and deliberate
hydraulic fracturing has been suggested as a means of increasing the
intake rate of injection wells.
Koenig (38) concluded, alter reviewing the cost of injection well
construction, that theoretical and practical study is required to predict
the pressure behavior of waste injection wells to assure that rapid
pressure buildup will not make the system uneconomical.
Equations have been developed that permit computation of the rate
of pressure increase in an injection well under various specified
boundary conditions. The existing solutions should be reviewed and
new solutions developed if necessary. An interesting project would be
to field test various flow equations on several new injection wells and
compare the predicted results with actual performance.
Pumping and injection tests are performed by petroleum engineers
and ground-water hydrologists to determine the gross, in-place physical
properties of buried strata. Available testing methods should be re-
GPO B20—193—4

viewed and new methods developed, if necessary, since these tests are
probably the best means of determining the engineering properties of
an injection horizon during and immediately after the drilling of a well.
The necessity of treating water before injection to prevent plugging
at the injection face or swelling of clay minerals is well recognized,
but how importantly reactions within the injection horizon between
interstitial and injected waters can influence permeability is not certain.
Research should be undertaken to define the importance of reactions
between interstitial and injected waters and establish reliable criteria for
predicting and testing the compatibility of formation waters and injected
waters. It should be possible to examine the properties of the more
important types of industrial wastes and formulate some helpful general
criteria regarding the compatibility of these wastes with interstitial
Determination of Wastes Suitable for
Deep-Well Injection
The Subcommittee on Waste Disposal of the Committee on Sanitary
Engineering and Environment, National Academy of Sciences-National
Research Council (Committee reports June 25, 1962, and January 20,
1964) has stated that, since the injection of liquid wastes into a sub-
surface rock formation constitutes the utilization of limited useful space,
injection wells cannot be considered for any quantity and type of
waste. In addition, some wastes are not physically and chemically
suitable for deep-well injection.
Research is needed to define those wastes that, based on the above
considerations, are suitable for deep-well injection. It may be possible
to categorize certain common types of highly toxic and relatively
untreatable wastes and to generalize about the preparation, if any,
that these wastes may need to make them suitable for deep-well injection.
Such a study, in combination with previously suggested geologic studies
and economic and legal considerations, is necessary to allow industries
and pollution control agencies to assess rapidly the feasibility of deep-
well injection as a solution to some specific waste disposal and pollution
control problems.
A concept not yet investigated is the possibility of constructing
injection wells to serve an industrial complex such as exists in many
urban centers. The well or wells could be constructed jointly by the
various industries involved or by an independent organization that
could charge for well use. Evaluating the practicability of such a
program based on existing knowledge and knowledge that could be
Review and Evaluation

developed in previously suggested research efforts should be possible.
The economics of community injection wells could be very favorable;
these wells could significantly reduce the pollution of surface waters
with toxic industrial wastes.
Data Concerning Existing Waste-Injection Wells
To take best advantage of existing knowledge concerning deep-well
injection of waste, a compilation of data on the design and performance
of existing wells is needed. A national registry for deep waste injection
wells was suggested by the National Subcommittee on Waste Disposal of
the Committee on Sanitary Engineering, National Academy of Sciences-
National Research Council in their meeting of January 8, 1964. Such
a registry would, if the proper data were obtained, be useful for
research purposes. The following tabulation outlines the minimum
information the writer feels should be obtained for each existing or
new well.
1.	Operator of well and organizations using well
2.	Location of well
3.	Date of initiation of operation
4.	A. Depth of well
B.	Depths of injection horizons
C.	Names of geologic formations used for injection, including
formations for future development.
5.	A. Chemical and physical character of wastes to be injected
B. Chemical character of formation fluids
6.	Treatment applied to waste prior to injection
7.	Injection rate
8.	Injection pressure
Recommendations for Legal Requirements Pertaining
to Waste-Injection Well Permitting, Construction, and
Examination of the laws of the various states concerning deep-well
injection, and correspondence with the various state agencies concerned

with deep-well waste injection have indicated a need for the establish-
ment of recommendations pertaining to the practice of waste injection
into deep wells. These recommendations could serve as a basis for legal
requirements in states where the present laws are not adequate or as a
guide in states where laws are broad and do not include specific
Based on existing knowledge and experience, the deep-well injection
of liquid wastes is thought to be technically feasible in many areas of
the country and, if properly planned and implemented, is not likely to
be harmful to natural resources. Nevertheless, because the space avail-
able for fluid injection is limited, only concentrated toxic wastes that
cannot otherwise be satisfactorily disposed should be considered for
deep-well injection.
Most of the technical knowledge and experience necessary to carry
out the deep-well injection of liquid wastes is now available, but some
problems peculiar to the injection of industrial wastes seem worthy of
Review and Evaluation

1.	Stephan, D. G., Processes of Importance in Advanced Waste Treatment
Removal of Inorganics, in Inorganic Industrial Wastes Characterization,
A Training Manual: U.S. Dept. Health, Education, and Welfare, Public
Healtfi Service, p. 28-i to 28-3 (I9tj4).
2.	Priesing, C. P., An industrial Research View of Water Management: Indus.
Watei Eng., V. 1, No. 2, p. 10-13 (1964).
3.	Lewelling, H., and Kaplan, M., What to do About Salt Water: Petroleum
Eng., V. 31, July, No. 7, p. B19-B24 (1959).
4.	Kansas State Board of Health, personal communication (I960).
5.	Industrial Wastes Forum, Subsurface Disposal: Sewage and Indus. Wastes,
V. 25, No. 6, p. 715-720 (1953).
6.	Talbot, J. S., and Beardon, P., The Deep Well Method of Industrial
Waste Disposal: Chem. Eng. Progress, V. 60, No. 1, p. 49-52 (1964).
7.	Adinoff, J., Disposal of Organic Chemical Wastes to Underground For-
mations, in Ninth Indust. Waste Conf. Proa, Purdue, 1954: Purdue Univ.
Ext. Ser. No. 87, p. 32-38 (1955).
8.	Cecil, L. K., Underground Disposal of Process Waste Water: Indus. Eng.
Chemistry, V. 42, p. 594-599 (1950).
9.	Chemical and Engineering News, Spent Pulping Liquors to be Discharged
Underground: Chem. and Eng. News, Sept. 2, p. 128-129 (1963).
10.	Henkel, H. O., Surface and Underground Disposal of Chemical Wastes at
Victoria, Texas: Sewage and Indus. Wastes, V. 25, No. 6, p. 1044-1049
11.	Henkel, H. O., Deep-Well Disposal of Chemical Wastes: Chem. Eng.
Progress, V. 51, No. 12, p. 551-554 (1955).
12.	Holland, H. R., and Clark, F. R., A Disposal Well for Spent Sulphuric
Acid from Alkylating Iso-Butane and Butylenes: presented at Nineteenth
Purdue Industrial Waste Conference, May 5-7, 1964, Purdue University.
13.	Hundley, C. L., and Matulis, J. T., Deep Well Disposal, in Seventeenth
Indust. Waste Conf. Proc., Purdue, May 1961; Purdue Univ. Engr. Ext.
Ser. No. 112, p. 175-180 (1962).
14.	Hundley, C. L., and Matulis, J. T., Deep Well Disposal of Industrial
Waste by FMC Corporation: Indus. Water and Wastes, p. 128-131, Sept.-
Oct. (1962).
15.	Lansing, A. C., and Hewett, P. S., Disposal of Phenolic Waste to Under-
ground Formations, in Ninth Indust. Waste Conf. Proc.: Purdue Univ.
Eng. Ext. Ser. 87, p. 184-194 (1955).
16.	Lee, J. A., Throw Your Wastes Down a Well: Chem. Eng., p. 137-139,
Sept. (1950).
17.	MacLeod, I. C., Disposal of Spent Caustic and Phenolic Water in Deep
Wells: Eighth Ontario Indus. Waste Conf. Proc., p. 49-50 (1961).
18.	Mechem, O. E., and Garrett, J. H., Deep Injection Disposal Well for Liquid
Toxic Waste: Am. Soc. Civ. Engineers Proc., Jour. Construction Div.,
p. 111-121 (1963).

19.	Paradiso, S. J., Disposal of Fine Chemical Wastes, in Tenth Indust. Waste
Conf. Proc.: Purdue Univ. Ext. Ser. No. 89, p. 49-60 (1956).
20.	Sadow, R. D., How Monsanto Handles its Petrochemical Wastes: Wastes
Eng., Dec., p. 640-644 (1963).
21.	Scopel, L. J., Pressure Injection Disposal Well, Rocky Mountain Arsenal,
Denver, Colorado: The Mountain Geologist, V. 1, No. l,p. 35-42 (1964).
22.	II. S. Public Health Service, Inventory of Municipal and Industrial Waste
Facilities, 9 V.: U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public
Health Service Pub. No. 622 (1957).
23.	Levorsen, A. I., Geology of Petroleum: San Francisco, Freeman Co.,
667 p., 1954.
24.	deLaguna, W. D., and Houser, B. L., Disposal of Radioactive Waste
by Hydraulic Fracturing: U.S. Atomic Energy Comm., ORNL-2994,
p. 128-136 (1960).
25.	Russell, W. L-, Principles of Petroleum Geology: New York, McGraw-Hill
Book Co., 490 p., 1960.
26.	Committee on Waste Disposal, Division of Earth Sciences, National
Academy of Sciences — National Research Council, The Disposal of Radio-
active Waste on Land: Natl. Acad. Sci.-Natl, Research Council Pub. 519,
142 p., 1957.
27.	Watkins, J. W., Armstrong, F. K, and Heemstra, R. J., Feasibility of
Radio active'Waste Disposal in Shallow Sedimentary Formations: Nuclear
Sci.-Engineering, V. 7, p. 133-143 (1960).
28.	Bass, N. W., Origin of Shoestring Sands of Greenwood and Butler
Counties, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey Bull. 23, 135 p., 1936.
29.	Hubbert, M. K., Entrapment of Petroleum under Hydrodynamic Conditions:
Am. Assoc. Petroleum Geologists Bull., V. 37, p. 1954-2026 (1953).
30.	Repenning, C. A, Geologic Summary of the San Juan Basin, New Mexico,
with Reference to Disposal of Liquid Radioactive Waste: U.S. Atomic
Energy Comm., TEI-603, 78 p., 1959.
31.	Repenning, C.A., Geologic Summary of the Central Valley of California,
with Reference to Disposal of Liquid Radioactive Waste: U.S. Geol. Survey
TE1-769, Open-file Report, 69 p., 1961.
32.	Colton, G. W., Geologic Summary of the Appalachian Basin, with Reference
to the Subsurface Disposal of Radioactive Waste Solutions: U.S. Atomic
Energy Comm. TEI-791, 220 p., 1961.
33.	deWitt, W., Jr., Geology of the Michigan Basin with Reference to Sub-
surface Disposal of Radioactive Wastes: U. S. Geol. Survey TEI-771
Open-file Report, 100 p., 1961.
34.	Sandberg, C. A., Geology of the Williston Basin, North Dakota, Montana,
and South Dakota, with Reference to Subsurface Disposal of Radioactive
Wastes: U. S. Geol. Survey Rept. TE1-809, 148 p., 1962.
35.	Beikman, H. M., Geology of the Powder River Basins, Wyoming, and
Montana, with Reference to Subsurface Disposal of Radioactive Wastes:
U. S. Geol. Survey Rept. TEI-823, 85 p., 1962.

36.	LeGrand, H. 15,, Geology and Groundwater Hydrology of the Atlantic
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37.	American Petroleum Institute, Subsurface Salt-Water Disposal: Am. Petro-
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47.	Cecil, L. K., Injection Water Treating Problems: World Oil, V. 131, No. 3,
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Review and Evaluation

53.	Wasson, J. A., The Application of Hydraulic Fracturing in the Recovery
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56.	Cleary, J. M., Hydraulic Fracture Theory — Part 1, Mechanics of
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60.	Grandone, P., and Holleyman, J. B., Injection Rates and Pressures for
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63.	Theis, C. V., Relation Between the Lowering of the Piezometric Surface
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64.	Jacob, C. E,, On the Flow of Water in an Elastic Artesian Aquifer: Am.
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65.	Wenzel, L. K., Methods for Determining Permeability of Water-Bearing
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66.	Ferris, J. G., Knowles, D. B., Brown, R. H., and Stallman, R. W., Theory
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67.	Walton, W. C., Selected Analytical Methods for Well and Aquifer
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CPO B20-I93—3

70.	Todd, I). K.( Ground Water Hydrology: New York, Wiley and Sons,
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71.	Querio, C. W., and Powers, T. J., Deep Well Disposal of Industrial
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73.	Joers, J. C., and Smith, R. V., Determination of Effective Formation
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76.	American Petroleum Institute, Oil-Weil Cementing Practices in the United
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82.	Hallden, O. S., Underground Natural Gas Storage (Herscher Dome), in
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Review and Evaluation

87.	Watkins, J. W., Corrosion and Chemical Testing of Waters for Subsurface
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91.	American Petroleum Institute, Recommended Practice for Biological
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of West Virginia: West Virginia Geol. Survey, V. 8, 203 p., 1937.
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106.	Meents, W. F., Bell, A. H., Reese, O.W., and Tilbury, W. G., 1952,
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107.	Elliot, W. C., Chemical Characteristics of Waters from the Canyon, Strawn,
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108.	McGrain, P., Miscellaneous Analyses of Kentucky Brines: Kentucky Geo!.
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110.	Gullikson, D. M., Carawyay, W. H., and Gates, G. L., Chemical Analyses
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111.	Hawkins, M. E., Jones, O. W., and Pearson, C., Analyses of Brines from
Oil-Productive Formations in Mississippi and Alabama: U. S. "Bureau of
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112.	Case, L. C., Exceptional Silurian Brine Near Bay City, Michigan: Am.
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of Oil-Field Waters to Deposit Calcium Sulfate" by Stiff and Davis: Am.
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Mechanism for Concentration of Brines in Subsurface Formations: Am.
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Review and Evaluation

124.	Murata, K. J., Internal Structures of Silicate Minerals that Gelantinize
with Acid: Am. Mineralogist, V. 28, p. 545-562 (1943).
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127.	Yuster, S. T., The Gypsum Problem in Water Flooding: Producers Monthly,
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128.	Krynine, P. D., The Mineralogy of Water Flooding: Producers Monthly,
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129.	Johnston, N., and Beeson, C. M., Water Permeability of Reservoir Sands:
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134.	Van Olphen, H., Clay Colloid Chemistry: Interscience Publishers, New
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135.	Johansen, R. T., and Dunning, H. N., Direct Evaluation of Water Sensiti-
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139.	Birch, F., Thermal Considerations in Deep Disposal of Radioactive Waste:
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142.	Harlow, I. F., Waste Problem of a Chemical Company: Indus. Eng.
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143.	Donaldson, E. C., Subsurface Disposal of Industrial Wastes in the United
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145.	Bate, M. E., Deep Well Disposal of Nylon Waste Water: Chem. Eng.
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146.	Graves, B. S., Underground Disposal of Sour Water, in Twenty-fourth
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GFO 020-193—2