Effectiveness of deep natural clay, compacted clay and geomembranes in limiting seepage from coal seam gas production water evaporation ponds (2009–2012)
Australia's vast coal seam gas reserves are located above the Great Artesian Basin. The production of the gas generates saline water, which is largely evaporated from surface ponds. To minimise saline seepage from the ponds and hence protect the underlying Great Artesian Basin, the base of the ponds must be of low permeability. The aim of the proposal is to demonstrate the relative effectiveness of the alternative pond base treatments of deep natural clay, compacted clay and geomembranes (plastic liners) in limiting the seepage of saline water from the ponds. The results of the research will demonstrate how the acquifers of the Great Artesian Basin can best be protected, to allow the ongoing and expanded production of coal seam gas.