Dewatering is the art and science of chemically enhanced centrifuge separation. Dewatering is the final step of a closed loop system and follows the separation process after shale shakers, hydrocyclones, and centrifuges. While high-speed centrifuges remove particles 2 to 3 microns and larger, dewatering can remove all colloidal particles down to clear water.
Onshore disposal options aim at incorporating drilling waste into either the surface (or rooting zone) or beneath the rooting zone. The former is
called land application. The latter is called burial.
There are a limited number of options for dealing with drilling waste generated in an offshore environment. The drilling waste can be discharged to the ocean (direct discharge), injected into the ground beneath the sea, or taken to shore for commercial disposal or a landbased disposal option.
Drilling waste minimization or reuse of resources that can become waste are key strategies in waste avoidance and a sound waste management plan. Two general approaches to waste minimization have developed. They can be called total fluid management (TFM) and environmental impact reduction (EIR).