Water Management

Water is a vital resource for all of us, and its importance to the planet cannot be overstated, including being a critical resource for all species of plants and animals and an instrumental indicator for global weather patterns. At Equitrans, we take our responsibility to preserve and protect this natural resource very seriously. While our operations typically do not involve water consumption, we are committed to continuous improvement in our water management practices and strive to follow all federal, state, and local regulations pertaining to our water withdrawal, transportation, and disposal activities.

An Equitrans water station sits at the water's edge, with blue piplines connecting to a small platform in the pond.

Managing Our Water Resources 

Management of material topics

Interactions with water as a shared resource

Management of water discharge-related impacts

Water withdrawal

Water discharge

Water consumption


Water is important to our operations, and we work diligently to avoid leaks and spills that impact water resources. While Equitrans has three business segments, gathering, transmission, and water services, water withdrawals can be separated into two categories. Water is used for construction, operation, and maintenance of our midstream natural gas gathering and transmission businesses. In addition, Equitrans withdraws and delivers water to our customers in the upstream natural gas sector, as part of the water segment of our business.

Although our water consumption is relatively low for our gathering and transmission businesses, as compared to other operations in the energy or manufacturing sectors, we recognize the importance of preserving this essential resource, regardless of how much or where we withdraw and/or discharge. All water withdrawals and discharges for the Company occur within the Mississippi River Basin, more specifically in our operating areas of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, which provides greater access to and availability of water compared to other areas of the country. According to the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, all of Equitrans’ operating areas are in a low or medium water depletion area, and the majority of the operating areas are in a low or medium water stress area.

The Company operates less than eight miles, or less than 1%, of our total gathering and transmission pipeline miles within a high water stress area, and there are no natural gas facilities, such as compressor stations, located in these areas. Additionally, none of Equitrans' water pipelines or impoundments are situated within any high water stress area, and we have not caused any unpermitted water discharges along Equitrans' natural gas pipelines in this region. As part of our overall focus on minimizing impacts to local water resources, Equitrans takes the issue of water stress areas seriously.

While gas operations represent the majority of the Company’s operating revenues, the gathering and transmission segments represent a very small portion of our overall water usage and withdrawals. Water is used for a variety of purposes during Equitrans’ day-to-day gas gathering and transmission and storage operations, including for various maintenance, construction, pipeline operation, and compressor station activities. The two most common water uses at compressor stations are cooler fan cleaning and dehydrator flushing, for which the majority of water is obtained from a third party that provides potable water. Water used during cooler cleaning is evaluated after use to determine proper disposal requirements, and is allowed to infiltrate into pervious ground areas where allowed by regulation. Water used to flush the dehydrator lines may interact with impurities or other chemicals and is collected in on-site produced fluid tanks before being transported to a third party for processing and disposal. For both of these activities, there is minimal water consumption expected and the amount of water withdrawn is similar to the amount of water discharged. Water utilized for gas storage operations, such as plug and abandonment operations and other well maintenance activities, is obtained from and disposed by a third party.

An Equitrans site is located next to a water retention pond, shown as an aeriel view.

The largest source of water withdrawn and discharged for gas operations is used by the construction team for hydrostatic testing and land restoration efforts. Hydrostatic testing of pipelines is performed using fresh water supplied by a third party, and no chemicals or other materials are added to the water during hydrostatic testing. Following the testing, the water is either directed back to the environment or is hauled away by a third-party for disposal. When discharging hydrotesting water to the ground, Equitrans acquires any applicable state-regulated discharge permit and completes the discharge in accordance with the permit. For restoration activities, water from third-party or municipal sources is used to apply materials to restore vegetation and protect land areas. For both activities, little water is consumed and it is generally returned to the same basin where it was obtained.

The water business segment transports water to upstream natural gas customers for their use in gas drilling and production activities and represents the majority of the Company’s water withdrawals and discharges. As of December 31, 2021, the Company’s fresh water system included approximately 200 miles of pipeline and 23 fresh water impoundment facilities, which are concentrated in southwestern PA and southeastern OH. The water is withdrawn from the Monongahela River, Ohio River, local reservoirs, regional waterways, and municipal sources. In certain cases, withdrawal permits must be obtained before withdrawing water from surface waters. The amount withdrawn is continuously tracked using water flow meters, and throughputs are reviewed and compared to permit limits on a monthly basis. Water brought into the pipeline system can be temporarily held in impoundments until delivered to customers. As water is withdrawn to deliver to other companies, it is not consumed by Equitrans. Our customers are responsible for obtaining any necessary environmental permits or approvals for the production activity for which they use the water.

During 2021, the Company began construction of a mixed-use water system in Greene County, Pennsylvania to transport produced recycled water. As of the date of this report, the system is targeted for a partial in-service in 2022, with the majority of the system targeted for a 2023 in-service. The mixed-use water system is designed to include 71 miles of buried water pipeline, two water storage facilities with 350,000 barrels of capacity, and two interconnects with the Company’s existing Pennsylvania fresh water systems and will provide services to producers in southwestern Pennsylvania. As of December 31, 2021, the Company’s mixed-use water system included approximately eight miles of buried pipeline.

The environmental department manages permitting and regulatory activities related to Equitrans’ water management activities and provides assurance for compliance with all required regulations and guidelines. During the construction phase, our Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan outlines how the water and related water activities will be managed. When using water for our operations, Equitrans works to comply with all water discharge requirements, including National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits and effluent limitations. Equitrans does not operate wastewater treatment facilities and does not treat any water used in operations, other than using filters and devices to remove sediment from waters as required by permits.

Equitrans installs sufficient secondary containment for hydrocarbons or other potential water pollutants to prevent those materials from impacting water sources in accordance with federal, state, and local requirements. Further, the Company maintains a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan for sites where hydrocarbon storage quantities exceed thresholds specified in regulations. When there is an unexpected incident, such as a water pipeline break, our standard practice is to follow the same spill response procedures as outlined in the Biodiversity and Public Safety & Emergency Response sections of this report. To improve transparency, Equitrans publishes its environmental notices of violation on its website.

An on-surface blue water hose is connecting to an unground pipeline.

Evaluating Our Approach to Water Management

Equitrans completed the first Companywide water inventory for its usage during calendar year 2021 and is reporting water management information for the first time in this report. Going forward, we are working to improve and acquire additional water management data to provide additional detail and transparency in future disclosures.

While the revenue from the water services segment of our business is small compared to revenue from our natural gas gathering, transmission, and storage services, it is a key element when reviewing our water impacts. Our water services are directly linked to our customers’ well completion activities and operations, and their related fresh and produced water demands. As a result, our water operating results traditionally fluctuate from year to year in response to producers' well completion activities.

Water flow meters are used to monitor the quantity of water extracted from surface water and municipal sources and for monitoring the quantity of water delivered to customers. For sources of water that Equitrans pays a fee, a second audit meter is used to verify the flow meters' readings. Because impoundments are utilized as storage sites, where water is kept until it is returned to the pipeline and distributed to customers, they are considered to be within the Company's boundary. Water entering and leaving storage sites is not recorded as a withdrawal or discharge. There is no consumption expected for the water services business segment as all water withdrawn is intended to be transported and delivered to customers.

In 2021, the water services segment of our business withdrew approximately 1,119 million gallons of water, with none of the withdrawals coming from water-stressed areas, and discharged approximately 1,121 million gallons of water. The total discharges consist of all water delivered to customers and include estimates regarding reported spills and any water drained from impoundments for use by a third party. During 2021, the quantity of water discharged exceeded the amount of water taken in. The reason for the excess discharges is partially due to two factors: water being stored at impoundments in early 2021 was delivered to customers throughout the year, and one water impoundment was drained for maintenance activities in the fourth quarter. Water consumption for the water services business is not measured; however, water consumption is calculated by subtracting discharges from withdrawals. Since water discharges exceeded withdrawals in 2021, our water segment consumption is being reported as zero gallons. In addition to freshwater, Equitrans transported produced water in our existing water pipeline network for one customer’s well pad operations, the amount of which is included in our withdrawal and discharge data calculations.

2021 Water Withdrawals by Source1

Water Segment Withdrawals (gallons)

Gas Operations Withdrawals (gallons)

Surface Water






Third-party Sources2



Total Freshwater Withdrawals



Produced Water


Total Water Withdrawals3 1,119,088,411 4,192,911

1) Includes 100% of the Eureka Midstream assets; excludes MVP, MVP Southgate, and OVCX projects

2) Third-party water withdrawals for the water segment were obtained from municipal sources; third-party water utilized for gas operations was sourced from municipalities and companies that deliver potable water

3) No water was withdrawn from areas of water stress and no sea water is withdrawn for Company operations

2021 Water Discharges by Source1

Water Segment Discharges (gallons)

Gas Operations Discharges (gallons)

Surface Water






Third-party Sources (freshwater)



Total Freshwater Discharges



Third-party Sources (produced water)


Total Water Withdrawals2 1,120,565,951 4,055,771

1) Includes 100% of the Eureka Midstream assets; excludes MVP, MVP Southgate, and OVCX projects; for purposes of this report, “third-party discharges” include water delivered to customers and water removed for treatment and disposal by a third party

2) GRI 303-4: zero water was discharged to seawater

2021 Water Consumption1

Water Segment Consumption (gallons)

Gas Operations Consumption (gallons)

Total Water Consumption2



1) Includes 100% of the Eureka Midstream assets; excludes MVP, MVP Southgate, and OVCX projects

2) Water consumption is calculated by subtracting the total discharges from the total withdrawals; the water segment consumption is reported as zero gallons since discharges exceeded withdrawals in 2021

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Culture Change Belongs to All of Us

Our goal is to create a workforce culture that is not only aligned with our values, but also inspires employees to be their best selves. Based on the findings of our initial culture assessment conducted in 2020, we implemented several culture enhancing initiatives that were aligned with our mission, vision, and strategy — including redesigning our employee recognition program, introducing 360-degree management assessments and coaching, and launching an on-demand learning platform.

In 2021, we conducted our second culture survey, which had a 78% participation rate and highlighted significant, double-digit percentile increases across all 48 culture survey questions. In conjunction with our Culture Champions Group, we attribute these culture score improvements to the many action items we implemented since conducting our previous assessment.

The survey platform we utilize measures organizations across four areas: Mission, Consistency, Involvement, and Adaptability. While we were encouraged by the results, we also recognize there are areas that require continued focus to improve our culture. Below are a few key highlights from our recent survey:

Leveraging Our Strengths

  • We are very strong in the areas of teamwork and agreement — illustrating strong coordination across departments, the elimination of silos, and alignment with our Core Values, which highlights a strong sense of right and wrong.
  • We had positive shifts in how we use our Core Values to guide our decisions & the perceptions of leaders who demonstrate these values.
  • We scored near the 95th percentile on most of the safety aspects, something we are very proud of as we continue to elevate our strong safety culture.

Taking Action

Based on the opportunities for improvement, we are implementing several action items that are linked to three primary focus areas:

  • Customer Focus: The best way to define Customer Focus is with a question — “When we get a request from a fellow employee, do we treat that request as if it came from a customer?” The success of our Company depends on all employees — from maintaining safe operations, ensuring system reliability, and designing system enhancements to closing our books, scheduling projects, running payroll, and managing our legal and regulatory concerns. As we strive to be a reliable partner inside and out, in 2022 we added customer service to our Core Value of Collaboration; and we are implementing initiatives to improve our internal customer service and ensure the timely exchange of information requests.
  • Strategic Direction & Intent: Employees understand the importance of connecting the dots between our strategy and their day-to-day work. Based on survey feedback, we will continue to publish our quarterly Strategic Priorities Update and schedule all-employee meetings to communicate progress on our Company’s annual priorities and objectives, which helps employees to align their individual objectives. Achieving our Company goals takes teamwork, collaboration, and individual contributions by everyone.
  • Capability Development: As people leaders, we want to take a more active role in the development of our employees, helping them to understand and explore opportunities for advancement. To support our managers, we rolled out training during 2022 to assist managers in having effective career conversations with employees, encouraging an open dialogue on opportunities for growth and skill development. We also updated our Core Value of Excellence to include employee capability development — reinforcing the importance of helping to improve the capabilities of our employees as a competitive advantage. 

At Equitrans, culture change belongs to all of us, and each employee plays a vital role in achieving our vision of becoming the premier midstream company in North America. Our employees’ continued commitment to E-Train’s success is demonstrated by staying the course — effectively managing our business and running our operations safely, efficiently, and responsibly.

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Philanthropy and Volunteerism

Equitrans Midstream supports the development of a sustainable workforce, which we believe is a key element for the long-term success of our Company and our communities. Preparing local students to compete in the workforce is a funding priority of the Equitrans Midstream Foundation — connecting students now with the tools they need to make positive social and economic contributions in the future. Through our E-Train On-Track committee, we also support employee volunteerism and encourage employees to donate their time in support of community-based educational initiatives. 

The Education Partnership is a local non-profit organization that distributes school and classroom supplies at no cost to students and teachers in need. When the organization approached us with an opportunity to provide assistance and support for Pennsylvania schools, ranging from pre-K through grade 12, we enthusiastically volunteered both our funding and time. In 2021, through a $32,000 grant to The Education Partnership’s Adopt-a-School program, the Equitrans Midstream Foundation purchased essential school supplies for students in three southwestern Pennsylvania schools. Using our Volunteer Paid-Time-Off Program, these funds were amplified by Equitrans employees who volunteered their time to assemble more than 1,230 Power Tools Homework Kits for distribution to the students. A team of employees then attended assemblies at one of the participating high schools to conduct mini-educational sessions to discuss jobs and careers in the energy industry.

During the past two years, the Foundation has awarded $50,000 to The Education Partnership. By combining proposed funding opportunities with employee volunteerism, Equitrans can provide a greater level of community support, while at the same time encouraging employee involvement and increasing overall engagement. Our work with The Education Partnership is one example of Equitrans’ commitment to the communities in which we live and work — delivering positive impacts through both financial support and employee volunteerism. 

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Protecting Our Critical Energy Infrastructure

With cyber-attacks on the rise in nearly every industry sector, including those related to oil/gas pipelines, there is a heightened need for teamwork and collaboration to protect our nation’s energy infrastructure. We recognize the important joint efforts of pipeline operators, government agencies, vendors, and industry groups in developing solutions to combat the complex challenges of an ever-changing cybersecurity landscape. The formation of this alliance is based on a common goal: keeping our critical infrastructure safe, secure, and reliable.

To ensure adequate resources and elevate the criticality of our industry’s cyber initiatives, Chief Executive Officers and Chief Information Officers from our nation’s major pipeline operators, as well as top leaders from various government agencies are aligned on this priority. In addition, with this level of attention and focus on cybersecurity, responsibility has gone beyond Information Technology personnel. To be truly effective, cybersecurity requires multi-disciplinary leadership involvement from other business functions, such as physical security, emergency management, facilities, legal, and supply chain.

As a natural gas pipeline operator, Equitrans Midstream transports roughly 10% of U.S. natural gas production every day, making it critical for us to know and understand the latest threat intelligence. With the knowledge gained through these industry and government relationships, we are better prepared to implement leading practices designed to counter evolving attack vectors.

At Equitrans Midstream, we believe forming a cybersecurity partnership has helped raise the security bar across the industry, resulting in a collective benefit that is beyond what any individual pipeline operator could achieve. By working together on cybersecurity initiatives, we are striving to make the natural gas pipeline sector more secure, while at the same time continuing to provide the critical energy resources on which our nation relies.

     – Carmine Fantini, CIO, Equitrans Midstream

The continued evolution of cybersecurity threats demands a holistic response from industry, government, and suppliers. Equitrans recognizes this reality, and we work diligently every day to enhance our strong public/private sector alliance — strengthening our capabilities to protect our critical energy infrastructure.

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Workplace Modernization

Recognizing the potential benefits of a flexible work model, Equitrans conducted a workplace modernization survey in June 2020, whereby office-based employees were asked to rank their workplace preferences based on a set of three “workplace personas” (anchor, flex, and remote). The next step in the process was for managers to review all positions in their departments and assign a workplace persona, or personas, to each position, based on the defined requirements of role. The final step was for employees to select their workplace persona based on the persona(s) assigned to their role.

Our workplace modernization activities, however, did not end there. As we and other companies prepared for the new normal of a larger remote workforce, E-Train recognized there would be concerns to address and conflicts to resolve — and our goal was to ensure a smooth transition as overall workplace plans were finalized. To replace our previous Telecommuting Policy, we implemented a new Workplace Modernization Policy, which includes topics such as workplace persona guidelines, relocation approval process, business travel expense protocol, and how to formally request a workplace persona assignment change.

Additionally, to assist our employees with changes related to our return-to-office (RTO), we communicated workspace scheduling information and general tax expectations (for remote employees), and created two RTO Guides:

  • The RTO Guide for Managers was intended to help managers prepare for working with their teams in the new era of a “distributed environment.” The guide contains key details for managing successfully in a distributed environment, including tips for utilizing shared workspaces; how to determine when it may be most effective for a manager and their team to work in the office; and how a manager can partner with their team to establish best practices and facilitate a collaborative and engaging working environment — ensuring continued performance in line with our Core Value of Excellence. Managers were asked to maintain an inclusive, forward-thinking environment that values the person as a whole instead of focusing on only the work that they produce and were reminded to always place safety first.
  • The RTO Guide for Employees contained FAQs about workplace personas; tips and recommended etiquette for working in a shared workspace; how to determine when it may be most effective to work in the office; best practices to ensure success; and the importance of keeping safety our top priority.

With the reopening of our offices in April 2022, roughly 61% of office-based employees are working remotely (remote persona), 37% split their time between remote and at an Equitrans location (flex persona), and 2% are working in the office full-time (anchor persona). We expect our workplace modernization model to improve employee satisfaction and retention, expand our talent pool, and create additional flexibility for our employees, while promoting continued business execution.  

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Distracted Driving Awareness

Distracted driving is an important safety issue — whether we are traveling for work or transporting friends and family during our personal time. The tragic results of distracted driving can happen to any one of us, anywhere, and at any time. Furthermore, these distractions come in many forms and can be caused by a number of factors, such as driving while using a communications device, tending to others who are in the vehicle, using your vehicle’s audio system, or simply observing scenery as we pass it on the road. 

 In response to an increase in preventable vehicle accidents in 2020, Equitrans’ safety team created a Safe Driving Stand-Up, whereby supervisors were tasked with encouraging their teams to focus on changing their driving behaviors to better ensure everyone’s safety. In 2021, we placed additional emphasis on vehicle driving safety through our Companywide Distracted Driving Awareness initiative, which included encouraging employees to sign a distracted driving pledge as a symbol of their commitment to drive safely, be in the moment, and remain focused on the task-at-hand.

With more than 500 employees in attendance, Equitrans’ Distracted Driving Awareness campaign kicked off with a presentation by Joel Feldman, renowned distracted driver speaker. Mr. Feldman is an attorney from Philadelphia who, despite representing those impacted by distracted driving crashes, frequently drove distracted himself. Following the death of his daughter in an accident caused by a distracted driver, he changed the way he drives and the way he thinks about driving safety. In 2011, he founded EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving) and spends the majority of his professional time working to educate people about this issue — with the goal to reduce distracted driving incidents of all kinds.

Mr. Feldman shared some very powerful and personal messaging, along with several important reminders that focused on how to change driving behaviors to better ensure one’s personal safety, the safety of their passengers, as well as the safety of everyone on the road. In addition, the Equitrans Midstream Foundation expanded these important safe driving messages by partnering with EndDD to bring Mr. Feldman’s presentation to four local high schools in our Pennsylvania operating area.

In 2022, our Foundation is pleased to continue its partnership with EndDD by supporting the creation of a nationwide public service campaign geared toward preventing distracted driving among high school students.

Equitrans believes that having a safe-driving mindset should extend beyond the workplace, and we want our employees to be equipped to prevent distractions while driving for both work and personal travel. With safety as our top priority and number one Core Value, the more we share the importance of learning how to NOT DRIVE DISTRACTED, the safer all of us will be.

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Emergency Response and Preparedness

In August 2021, flammable vapors from a tank vent ignited during a late afternoon electrical storm at the Equitrans Twilight Compressor Station, a natural gas gathering facility located in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Upon notification of the incident, the Equitrans crisis team quickly convened — no injuries were reported, and no significant damage occurred. 

As part of our response, Equitrans technicians were immediately dispatched and, once on site, began to implement necessary safety procedures, including the closing of appropriate valves to isolate the tank. In addition, the local volunteer fire department was on site to assist with appropriate fire safety protocols.

Equitrans’ emergency procedures and closing of valves successfully allowed the flame to self-extinguish, and within a short time the tank was fully isolated. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection was notified, and, as a courtesy, local township officials and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission received notification of the incident.

Working together with the crisis team, our operations, safety, and compliance teams determined that the ignition occurred as a result of a lightning strike that ignited vapors from a malfunctioning tank vent. After reviewing and understanding the cause of the incident, operations worked with engineering to identify and inspect similar tank vents, as well as tank grounding, to minimize the risk of similar incidents from occurring in the future.

For more information on Equitrans Emergency Response and Preparedness, please visit: Public Safety and Emergency Response.

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Storage Integrity Management

To fulfill specific regulatory obligations by government agencies, Equitrans conducts annual audits and inspections required by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and respective state agencies that oversee pipelines and related facilities. To reinforce the importance of public safety, in recent years PHMSA has conducted focused audits on Storage Integrity Management programs. These very intense, detailed audits emphasize both public safety and the environmental impacts of storage methane release. Among other benefits to the industry, this level of scrutiny provides an opportunity for natural gas pipeline operators to review, improve, and strengthen their programs.

Under PHMSA’s direction, Equitrans conducted numerous storage audits from 2018 through 2021 to gauge the strength of our Storage Integrity Management Plan (SIMP) and its adherence to published code. While there were no penalties assessed as a result of these audit activities, Equitrans did receive varying degrees of citations (i.e., Letters of Concern, Warning Letters, and Notices of Amendment) that required us to update our plans, policies, and procedures to enhance our SIMP.

In addition to addressing all cited deficiencies to improve the SIMP, Equitrans instituted the following enhancements to its storage operations:

  • Mitigation of risk by increasing the frequency of well-surveillance logging to every seven years, versus the previous schedule of every 15 years
  • Utilization of Remote Terminal Units on storage wells for 24-hour monitoring by gas control
  • Development and implementation of storage-specific procedures to standardize storage maintenance and operations activities across the Company
  • Dedicating personnel trained specifically for storage operations

As with all of Equitrans’ pipeline integrity programs, our primary focus is on safety — above all else — for our communities, employees, and pipeline facilities. The continued and enhanced safe operation of our storage assets is merely an extension of Equitrans’ overall commitment to safety.

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