CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A break Sunday afternoon in a stormwater pipe beneath an ash basin at the retired Dan River Steam Station in Eden, N.C., has caused a release of ash basin water and ash into the Dan River.
The ash basin dam along the river has not been affected and remains secure. Some erosion has occurred on the interior side of the berm farthest from the river, and plant personnel and engineers are working today on a plan to stabilize that area.
Freestanding water drained from the primary ash basin into the stormwater pipe, and a team continues to work to eliminate the discharge from the pipe.
The basin was already at a lower level prior to this event since the coal plant retired in 2012 and has not produced ash for some time. The primary basin is about 27 surface acres.
Engineers are working to estimate the volume of water and ash that reached the river, and the company will provide that detail when it is confirmed.
Duke Energy has dispatched a water quality monitoring team that will gather data in the river. The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has been notified and is performing a site inspection. Local emergency managers were notified as a precaution, and downstream municipal water supplies remain unaffected.
The company already has been conducting studies for the most appropriate way to close the ash basins at Dan River and other retired plant sites. Duke Energy is committed to closing ash basins in a way that protects groundwater long-term and is prudent for customers and neighbors.
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
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.