Covia is committed to using water efficiently, ensuring our employees have access to clean water, and engaging in open dialogue with community members to alleviate water-related concerns. We rely on water in our operations for extracting, washing, processing, and dust control. By effectively managing our water use and discharge, we maximize efficiency and prevent business interruptions while protecting our communities and building positive stakeholder relationships.
Covia regularly monitors our water consumption and impacts on local water quality. Our Environmental Department develops surface water management plans for each site. The Environmental Department also works to ensure our facilities meet both permitting requirements and regulatory program requirements established by state and local regulatory agencies and the federal Clean Water Act. As part of our Enterprise Risk Management processes, all sites complete water risk assessments, which identify operational and regional risks and opportunities. Facilities maintain storm water pollution prevention plans and complete regular water testing, including third-party audits by each state’s environmental regulatory program at a frequency dictated by each agency. Our Clean Water SD Team works toward ensuring access to potable water at all our locations, and coordinates volunteer activities with community partners such as waterway cleanups. Additionally, our operations and engineering teams consider potential water use when designing new facilities to ensure we are using water responsibly, implementing water recycling, and reuse when possible.
In 2018, Covia commissioned plants in a semi-arid region with growing development-related demand on regional aquifers. Our new facilities in Kermit and Crane, TX, employ water management systems, which allow us to repeatedly capture, clean, and recycle wastewater. Approximately 98 percent of the water is recycled at these locations. This design allows these sites to consume a fraction of fresh water compared to the total water processed through the system each day. While there is some recycling of water at most locations, we operate six high efficiency water recycling systems like the one at Kermit and Crane, Texas.
Covia tracks well water use at all facilities where it is required and when possible, we implement methods to recycle water. One method we use to recycle water is on-site basins and pumping systems that allow us to reuse sand and minerals processing water. At several sites, the basins also capture natural storm water and groundwater sources that we incorporate back into water recycling efforts—these indirect sources also make it challenging to accurately measure water recycling rates.
|Water bodies affected by water discharges and/or runoff||
Covia washes silts and clays from our sand and other minerals to make high-quality, finished products. The resulting water can be cloudy—measured in “turbidity.” We clarify this water for reuse or safe discharge through a settling process that separates out the solids and decreases turbidity in secure holding ponds. We discuss our security and reclamation efforts related to these ponds under Land Management, Reclamation, Biodiversity.
Covia strives to retain water on our properties for recycling needs. At times, we must discharge this water into local surface and groundwater resources. When doing so, we conduct internal and third-party testing to ensure our practices comply with regulatory limits. We also obtain all appropriate permits for water discharge to maintain ecosystem health and safe drinking water.
In 2018, our Clean Water SD Team continued their work to ensure that Covia employees had access to potable water at each of our facilities. Further water testing and mitigation efforts will continue throughout 2019, supported by the Environmental and Safety Departments.
As we continue to operate in water scarce regions like West Texas and Mexico, Covia carefully considers groundwater access and use. Since the availability of permits to drill new wells or withdraw more water is often limited, responsible water management will be crucial to avoid disruptions and meet rising demand. Additionally, Covia continues to research ways to help our customers operate responsibly.