On February 8th, Duke Energy completed the installation of a permanent plug at its site in Eden, N.C., to stop releases from an ash basin at the Dan River Steam Station.
Overnight, crews filled a section of the pipe with a concrete grout material and capping system. The material cured and hardened over the next 12 hours and was successfully tested by workers Saturday afternoon. The company will continue to fully grout the entire pipe.
"Plugging the pipe was clearly job one, but we're continuing our efforts and working closely with all the agencies involved in this response," said Charlie Gates, senior vice president, Power Generation Operations. "Our next step is to continue to monitor the water quality of the river and to accelerate our planning for the best long-term solution at the site."
The release stemmed from a broken 48-inch stormwater pipe under the retired plant's primary ash basin. The break, discovered last Sunday, allowed ash and water from the basin to flow into the river. Installation of a catch basin, along with a series of pumps at the end of the stormwater pipe, greatly reduced any outflow to the river. The latest development has stopped releases altogether.
Ongoing sampling results from Duke Energy demonstrate water quality continues to improve downstream of the spill site. The company's results are consistent with sampling being performed by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR).
"We're committed to the Dan River and the communities that it serves," added Gates. "We are accountable for what has happened and have plenty of work ahead of us."
A sampling of water quality testing being done near the site is available on the Duke Energy website at: http://www.duke-energy.com/power-plants/coal-fired/dan-river-response.asp
Duke Energy is designing a long-term assessment and remediation plan in close coordination with federal and state environmental agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NCDENR.
Photos are available on Flickr at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dukeenergy/sets/72157640494192476/ or on the Duke Energy website: http://www.duke-energy.com/news/releases/Photos-Dan-River-Ash-Basin-Release.asp
Updates will be provided on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DukeEnergy.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK.