It's no secret that gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale has brought jobs into the region directly supporting the industry.
Then there are companies such as Clean Streams, which recycles frack water from drilling activities.
"I think it reflects the innovation of science that drives the gas industry," said U.S. Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Howard.
CRAIG S. McKIBBEN JR./Sun-Gazette
Tim Miller, left, a professional engineer and director of gas field services with U.S. Environmental, displays a jar containing byproducts produced in the treatment of hydrofracturing fluid Monday morning at the Williamsport office of Clean Streams on Colvin Road in Old Lycoming Township. Also shown are U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Howard, center; state Sen. E. Eugene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, second right, and Richard L. Weaver, managing member of Clean Streams, right.
Thompson and state Sen. E. Eugene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, had just finished a short tour of the facility off Lycoming Creek Road behind Bimbo Bakeries Inc.
Afterwards, the two seemed impressed by what they were able to see up close.
"I have great faith in the ingenuity of workers to find solutions to problems," Yaw said.
Thompson said Clean Streams is the sort of clean industry that doesn't call for excessive government regulation.
Company officials explained the process of recycling frack water.
Steam passes through two chambers. Frack water entering one of the tanks evaporates through the heat steam. At the same time, contaminants from the water fall to the bottom and exit the chamber. Dry air pumped into the bottom of the chamber carries evaporated water molecules into the other tank.
The water is condensed into clean water droplets. The condensed water becomes colder, emitting heat and re-entering the other chamber and evaporating the brackish water.
"It's so simple it's kind of scary," said Richard Weaver, a managing member of Clean Streams.
Natural gas companies are prohibited from releasing frack wastewater into streams until salt and other contaminants have been removed.
Clean Streams is one of just two such recycling facilities in the state.
Company officials claim the technology results in water five times cleaner than drinking water.
"This is a significant advancement for the gas industry as the process allows for a reduction in the amount of fresh water that the industry takes from rivers, streams and wells for hydrofracturing," said company official F.B. "Rik" Paulsen Jr. "At the same time, it decreases the amount of flowback and produced water that must be disposed of through deep well injection or other means of disposal."
Clean Streams recycles some 105,000 gallons of frack water per day.
However, the company soon will recycle almost four times that amount.
The company is expected to hire up to 10 more people in coming months.
"It's a growing industry," Weaver said.
Future plans call for using some of the salt and other materials removed from the water for road surfaces.
But that's not all.
Company officials later huddled with Thompson and Yaw to discuss additional plans for the plant, which they say will be disclosed at some later date.