CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Hundreds of people using an array of heavy equipment worked through the night and today making progress at the Dan River Steam Station in Eden, N.C.
“We are exploring multiple options to permanently and safely seal the broken stormwater pipe that has released ash into the river. Flow to the river significantly decreased throughout the day Tuesday. It fluctuated a bit earlier today but has been very low this afternoon,” said Charlie Gates, senior vice president of the generating fleet.
Crews were successful in uncovering the break in the pipe last evening. They also learned that the break occurred in a section of pipe made of corrugated metal. The corrugated pipe connects to a reinforced concrete pipe closer to the river. This information helps design the permanent solution.
"Knowing the pipe material is important in deciding next steps for filling the pipe to eliminate flow to the river," said Gates "Our focus remains on public and site safety."
Company and state monitoring teams continue sampling water quality in the Dan River near the site and down river. Sample results from yesterday confirm downstream water supplies remain safe, and water can be effectively treated through routine treatment processes.
For example, levels of trace metals, such as arsenic, lead and selenium, were less than two parts per billion at the Danville and South Boston, Va., water intakes as of last evening. This is the lowest level lab instruments can accurately measure.
Results from samples at 2 p.m. yesterday demonstrate river conditions nearest the plant already were improving considerably, with less material in the water. Full sample results are being provided to regulators as soon as they become available.
On Sunday, a 48-inch stormwater pipe under the ash basin at the retired coal plant broke, allowing ash and water from the ash basin to flow into the river. The ash basin dam along the river has not been affected and remains secure.
Communications with local and state agencies began Sunday evening, and the company will continue to communicate closely with these agencies throughout the response to this event.
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Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.