Dan River Coal Ash Spill

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On Monday, February 2nd, 2014, more than 82,000 tons of coal ash and up to 27 million gallons of water were spilled into the Dan River from a pond at a retired power plant in Eden, NC. According to Duke Energy, a 48-inch stormwater pipe that was beneath the 27-acre ash pond ruptured, causing the spill. Duke Energy waited to report the incident until Tuesday, February 3rd, and on Saturday, February 7th, reported to have plugged the broken pipe.  The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources conducted water tests and found normal levels of conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen, and temperature, but when testing for metals, found high levels of aluminum, iron, arsenic, and copper in the water.  

Appalachian Voices Water Sampling Confirms Contamination

2014-02-10 21:21:42

Updated 2/25/2014
Appalachian Voices conducted water sampling around the Dan River Coal Ash spill. This sampling showed high levels of metals like arsenic, selenium, iron, manganese and vanadium at the spill site and over 20 miles downstream. Below you will a summary of the sampling results, a map of the sampling locations and the original lab reports.

Summary of Appalachian Voices Dan River water quality data.

Summary of Dan River water quality data collected by Appalachian Voices.

>> Map of Appalachian Voices sampling locations

>> Original laboratory report from Appalachian Voices sampling in the Dan River

>>Laboratory report for selenium from Appalachian Voices Dan River sampling


Water Testing Results from State, Duke and Danville Utilities

2014-02-10 20:56:21


Danville Utilities Drinking Water Test Results

Danville Utilities, the operator of the public drinking water supply in Danville, VA tested treated drinking water. Their results are available here:

Danville Utilities public drinking water sample results (1 of 2)

Danville Utilities public drinking water sample results (.pdf, 1 of 3)

Danville Utilities public drinking water sample results (1 of 2)

Danville Utilities public drinking water sample results (.pdf, 2 of 3)

Danville Utilities public drinking water sample results (1 of 2)

Danville Utilities public drinking water sample results (.pdf, 3 of 3)



Duke Energy Testing Results
Duke Energy tested both the Dan River and treated drinking water in Danville. Their sampling results are available here (excel file):

Sampling results from the Dan River and drinking water from Duke Energy.

Sampling results from Dan River and drinking water from Duke Energy.



NCDENR Sampling Results

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources has released more complete results from the sampling they conducted. They have created a webpage with a rundown of their sampling, but their most recent results are available here:

NCDENR Dan River sampling results

NCDENR Dan River sampling results


NC DENR Dan River Water Quality: pH, Conductivity, Dissolved Oxygen, and Temperature

2014-02-07 18:00:15

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources conducted tests in the Dan River for pH, Specific Conductance, Temperature, and Dissolved Oxygen.  They say, “Initial water quality testing performed by DENR staff on site at Duke Energy’s Dan River power plant on Tuesday showed no deviation from normal levels of temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen and conductivity due to the release of water and ash from the facility’s coal ash impoundment…These initial results do NOT mean the water is safe. DENR staff are continuing to sample and test the water. On Tuesday, the first round of water samples were delivered to a lab in Raleigh for further testing for heavy metals, sulfates, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and total suspended solids.”

field parameters and initial testing results- full pdf

field parameters and initial testing results- full pdf


NC DENR Dan River Preliminary Water Quality Test Results

2014-02-07 17:52:28

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources published test results from water quality testing on the Dan River. The following is an explanation about the tests they conducted:

“State test results completed Thursday for a number of water quality parameters, including 17 metals, show no violations of state water quality standards for most samples taken Monday and Tuesday near the site of the coal ash spill in Eden. Test results for the remaining parameters will be released as soon as they are available.

One metal, copper, was above the state action level surface water standard both Monday and Tuesday. Because copper is a naturally occurring element in North Carolina waters, action level exceedances are used to trigger further investigation. While levels of copper decreased significantly on Tuesday, DENR will continue to monitor copper and the other elements.

North Carolina has established its federally approved water quality standards based on scientific data designed to protect human health and the aquatic environment.

DENR is still waiting on metals analysis to be completed for boron, titanium, vanadium, iron, cobalt, beryllium, aluminum, selenium, lithium, manganese and strontium. A monitoring plan to characterize coal ash in the river bed and along the river banks is in development and will be implemented in the coming days.”

preliminary dan river water quality test results- full pdf

preliminary dan river water quality test results- full pdf


NC DENR Dan River Water Quality Testing Sites

2014-02-07 17:42:45

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources has released a map for water quality testing sites on the Dan River.  They say, “The map shows three sampling locations: Draper Landing, just downstream of the spill site; downstream of the spill site at the Virginia line; and upstream at a location on Hwy 14. All of the sampling sites are at bridge crossings. The map also shows locations where DENR conducts regular testing.”

coal ash spill NCDENR water testing site- full pdf

coal ash spill NCDENR water testing site- full pdf


Appalachian Voices Observations

2014-02-06 15:03:24

Staff were on site at the spill from Monday evening through Wednesday evening. As of Wednesday evening, the coal ash pond was still discharging into the Dan River.

We have collected samples and will post results for heavy metals and other parameters as soon as they become available.


Initial Testing from NC DENR

2014-02-06 14:58:34

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reports: “Initial water quality testing performed by DENR staff on site at Duke Energy’s Dan River power plant on Tuesday showed no deviation from normal levels of temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen and conductivity due to the release of water and ash from the facility’s coal ash impoundment. These initial results do NOT mean the water is safe. . . On Tuesday, the first round of water samples were delivered to a lab in Raleigh for further testing for heavy metals, sulfates, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and total suspended solids.”

DNER is testing for:
Potassium
Cadmium
Chromium
Copper
Nickel
Lead
Zinc
Vanadium
Silver
Aluminum
Beryllium
Calcium
Cobalt
Iron
Molybdenum
Antimony
Tin
Thallium
Titanium
Lithium
Magnesium
Manganese
Sodium
Arsenic
Selenium
Mercury
Barium
Boron

Check back here for results, when they become available. We will also post them to this site.


NC Dan River Coal Ash Spill Photos

2014-02-05 19:03:58

On February 4th, Appalachian Voices Staff paddled down the Dan River to collect water samples and see the coal ash spill site first hand.

(Photo Eric Chance)

(Photo Eric Chance)

(Photo Eric Chance)

(Photo Eric Chance)

Volunteers from the Dan River Basin Association, graduate students from Duke University and Appalachian Voices Staff paddled down the Dan River to collect water samples and see the coal ash spill site first hand.  (Photo: Eric Chance)

Volunteers from the Dan River Basin Association, graduate students from Duke University and Appalachian Voices Staff paddled down the Dan River to collect water samples and see the coal ash spill site first hand.
(Photo: Eric Chance)

Duke University students collect sediment samples of coal ash pulled from the river bottom at Draper Landing, approximately two miles downstream from the spill. Note the difference in between the normal river sediment (on the stairs) and the sediment contaminated with coal ash (in the containers).  (Photo: Eric Chance

Duke University students collect sediment samples of coal ash pulled from the river bottom at Draper Landing, approximately two miles downstream from the spill. Note the difference in between the normal river sediment (on the stairs) and the sediment contaminated with coal ash (in the containers).
(Photo: Eric Chance

Sediment on the left is from downstream of the spill, and sediment on the right is from upstream.

Sediment on the left is from downstream of the spill, and sediment on the right is from upstream.

North Carolina Division of Water Quality Employees taking reference water samples upstream of the spill.  (Photo Eric Chance)

North Carolina Division of Water Quality Employees taking reference water samples upstream of the spill.
(Photo Eric Chance)

Dan River Stream Station. Volunteers from the Dan River Basin Association, graduate students from Duke University and Appalachian Voices Staff paddled down the Dan River to collect water samples and see the coal ash spill site first hand.  (Photo: Eric Chance)

Dan River Stream Station. Volunteers from the Dan River Basin Association, graduate students from Duke University and Appalachian Voices Staff paddled down the Dan River to collect water samples and see the coal ash spill site first hand.
(Photo: Eric Chance)

(Photo Eric Chance)

(Photo Eric Chance)

Volunteers from the Dan River Basin Association, graduate students from Duke University and Appalachian Voices Staff paddled down the Dan River to collect water samples and see the coal ash spill site first hand.  (Photo: Matt Wasson)

Volunteers from the Dan River Basin Association, graduate students from Duke University and Appalachian Voices Staff paddled down the Dan River to collect water samples and see the coal ash spill site first hand.
(Photo: Matt Wasson)

Coal ash contamination in the Dan River at the Danville, VA drinking water intake. Approximately 20 miles downstream from the spill.  (Photo: Eric Chance)

Coal ash contamination in the Dan River at the Danville, VA drinking water intake. Approximately 20 miles downstream from the spill.
(Photo: Eric Chance)

Matt Wasson samples the Dan River at the Danville, VA drinking water intake. Approximately 20 miles downstream from the spill.  (Photo: Eric Chance)

Matt Wasson samples the Dan River at the Danville, VA drinking water intake. Approximately 20 miles downstream from the spill.
(Photo: Eric Chance)


Dan River Coal Ash Spill February 3, 2014

2014-02-04 17:30:34

 

On Monday, February 3rd, 2014 Duke Energy reported that 50,000 to 82,000 tons of coal ash and up to 27 million gallons of water were spilled into the Dan River from a pond at a retired power plant in Eden, NC.  According to Duke Energy, a 48-inch stormwater pipe that was beneath the 27-acre ash pond ruptured, causing the spill. The Charlotte Observer is covering the spill.

Dan River Coal Ash Spill February 3, 2014

Dan River Coal Ash Spill February 3, 2014

 


Local Report

2014-02-04 16:25:42
Incident ID 1562
Date2014-02-04 16:25:42
Town
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Incident Description: Water testing results for metals 23 miles downstream from the Dan River Spill site at the Danville drinking water intake, February 4, 2014 at 4:25 pm.

Testing Results

ParameterValue
Aluminum877 ug/L
AntimonyNon Detect
Arsenic15.4 ug/L
Barium86.2 ug/L
BerylliumNon Detect
Boron141 ug/L
CadmiumNon Detect
Calcium7830 ug/L
ChromiumNon Detect
CobaltNon Detect
Copper7 ug/L
Iron721 ug/L
LeadNon Detect
Magnesium2740 ug/L
Manganese27 ug/L
MolybdenumNon Detect
NickelNon Detect
PotassiumNon Detect
Selenium2.3 ug/L
Silicon7590 ug/L
SilverNon Detect
Sodium5800 ug/L
Strontium70.8 ug/L
ThalliumNon Detect
TinNon Detect
Titanium55 ug/L
Vanadium11.1 ug/L
ZincNon Detect
MercuryNon Detect
Total Suspended Solids208 mg/L
Full Report

Local Report

2014-02-04 14:15:18
Incident ID 1565
Date2014-02-04 14:15:18
Town
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Incident Description: Water testing results for metals at the NPDES second ash pond discharge, February 4, 2014 at 2:15 pm.

Testing Results

ParameterValue
Aluminum144 ug/L
Antimony6 ug/L
Arsenic23.5 ug/L
Barium120 ug/L
BerylliumNon Detect
Boron199 ug/L
CadmiumNon Detect
Calcium25100 ug/L
ChromiumNon Detect
CobaltNon Detect
CopperNon Detect
Iron451 ug/L
LeadNon Detect
Magnesium6420 ug/L
Manganese70.4
Molybdenum18.1 ug/L
Nickel7.8 ug/L
Potassium5110 ug/L
Selenium4.9 ug/L
Silicon2250 ug/L
SilverNon Detect
Sodium10200 ug/L
Strontium399 ug/L
ThalliumNon Detect
TinNon Detect
TitaniumNon Detect
VanadiumNon Detect
Zinc14.2 ug/L
MercuryNon Detect
Total Suspended Solids3 mg/L
Full Report

Local Report

2014-02-04 13:40:03
Incident ID 1547
Date2014-02-04 13:40:03
Town
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Incident Description: Water testing results for metals directly downstream from the Dan River Spill site.

Testing Results

ParameterValue
Aluminum3510 ug/L
AntimonyNon Detect
Arsenic95.1 ug/L
Barium425 ug/L
Beryllium1.8 ug/L
Boron129 ug/L
CadmiumNon Detect
Calcium11000 ug/L
Chromium12.6 ug/L
CobaltNon Detect
Copper44.8 ug/L
Iron2180 ug/L
Lead7.5 ug/L
Magnesium3160 ug/L
Manganese110 ug/L
MolybdenumNon Detect
Nickel6 ug/L
PotassiumNon Detect
Selenium16.3 ug/L
Silicon10300 ug/L
SilverNon Detect
Sodium6120 ug/L
Strontium172 ug/L
ThalliumNon Detect
TinNon Detect
Titanium194 ug/L
Vanadium46.9 ug/L
Zinc31.7 ug/L
MercuryNon Detect
Total Suspended Solids1530 mg/L
Full Report

Local Report

2014-02-04 10:00:51
Incident ID 1543
Date2014-02-04 10:00:51
Town
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Incident Description: Water testing results for metals 3 miles upstream from the Dan River Coal Ash Spill site

Testing Results

ParameterValue
Aluminum470 ug/L
AntimonyNon Detect
ArsenicNon Detect
Barium24.7 ug/L
BerylliumNon Detect
Boron185
CadmiumNon Detect
Calcium7490 ug/L
ChromiumNon Detect
CobaltNon Detect
CopperNon Detect
Iron705 ug/L
LeadNon Detect
Magnesium2560 ug/L
Manganese28.8 ug/L
MolybdenumNon Detect
NickelNon Detect
PotassiumNon Detect
SeleniumNon Detect
Silicon7220 ug/L
SilverNon Detect
SodiumNon Detect
Strontium47.5 ug/L
ThalliumNon Detect
TinNon Detect
Titanium18.6 ug/L
VanadiumNon Detect
ZincNon Detect
MercuryNon Detect
Total Suspended Solids22.1 mg/L
Full Report

Local Report

2014-02-04 08:30:35
Incident ID 1555
Date2014-02-04 08:30:35
Town
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Incident Description: Water testing results for metals 2 miles downstream from the Dan River Spill site, February 4, 2014 at 8:30 am.

Testing Results

ParameterValue
Aluminum543 ug/L
AntimonyNon Detect
ArsenicNon Detect
Barium50.6 ug/L
BerylliumNon Detect
Boron116 ug/L
CadmiumNon Detect
Calcium7080 ug/L
ChromiumNon Detect
CobaltNon Detect
CopperNon Detect
Iron676 ug/L
LeadNon Detect
Magnesium2500 ug/L
Manganese35.2 ug/L
MolybdenumNon Detect
NickelNon Detect
PotassiumNon Detect
Selenium1.7 ug/L
Silicon7120 ug/L
SilverNon Detect
Sodium6000
Strontium52 ug/L
ThalliumNon Detect
TinNon Detect
Titanium30.1 ug/L
VanadiumNon Detect
ZincNon Detect
MercuryNon Detect
Total Suspended Solids138 mg/L
Full Report

Local Report

2014-02-04 01:30:41
Incident ID 1559
Date2014-02-04 01:30:41
Town
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Incident Description: Water testing results for metals 23 miles downstream from the Dan River Spill site at the Danville drinking water intake, February 4, 2014 at 1:30 am.

Testing Results

ParameterValue
Aluminum770 ug/L
AntimonyNon Detect
Arsenic16.5 ug/L
Barium83 ug/L
BerylliumNon Detect
Boron150 ug/L
CadmiumNon Detect
Calcium8250 ug/L
ChromiumNon Detect
CobaltNon Detect
Copper6.1 ug/L
Iron640 ug/L
LeadNon Detect
Magnesium2730 ug/L
Manganese34.5 ug/L
MolybdenumNon Detect
NickelNon Detect
PotassiumNon Detect
Selenium2.5 ug/L
Silicon7690 ug/L
SilverNon Detect
Sodium5150 ug/L
Strontium70.9 ug/L
ThalliumNon Detect
TinNon Detect
Titanium46.6 ug/L
Vanadium9.2 ug/L
Zinc16.6 ug/L
MercuryNon Detect
Total Suspended Solids214 mg/L
Full Report

Local Report

2014-02-04 01:00:39
Incident ID 1552
Date2014-02-04 01:00:39
Town
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Incident Description: Water testing results for metals 2 miles downstream from the Dan River Spill site.

Testing Results

ParameterValue
Aluminum884 ug/L
AntimonyNon Detect
Arsenic13.5 ug/L
Barium101 ug/L
BerylliumNon Detect
Boron129 ug/L
CadmiumNon Detect
Calcium7610 ug/L
ChromiumNon Detect
CobaltNon Detect
Copper6.6 ug/L
Iron904 ug/L
LeadNon Detect
Magnesium2660 ug/L
Manganese58.8 ug/L
MolybdenumNon Detect
NickelNon Detect
PotassiumNon Detect
Selenium4.1 ug/L
Silicon7630 ug/L
SilverNon Detect
Sodium5050 ug/L
Strontium65.7 ug/L
ThalliumNon Detect
TinNon Detect
Titanium53 ug/L
Vanadium10.2 ug/L
Zinc14.8 ug/L
MercuryNon Detect
Total Suspended Solids367 mg/L
Full Report

Local Report

2014-02-04 00:19:11
Incident ID 1534
Date2014-02-04 00:19:11
Town
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Incident Description: Water testing results for metals 2.25 miles upstream from the Dan River Coal Ash Spill site

Testing Results

ParameterValue
Aluminum444 ug/L
AntimonyNon Detect
ArsenicNon Detect
Barium23.3 ug/L
BerylliumNon Detect
Boron175
CadmiumNon Detect
Calcium7500 ug/L
ChromiumNon Detect
CobaltNon Detect
CopperNon Detect
Iron746 ug/L
LeadNon Detect
Magnesium2580 ug/L
Manganese30.8 ug/L
MolybdenumNon Detect
NickelNon Detect
PotassiumNon Detect
SeleniumNon Detect
Silicon7100 ug/L
SilverNon Detect
SodiumNon Detect
Strontium46.6 ug/L
ThalliumNon Detect
TinNon Detect
Titanium20.7 ug/L
VanadiumNon Detect
ZincNon Detect
MercuryNon Detect
Total Suspended Solids15.2 mg/L
Full Report

Coal Ash Spill from the Dan River Coal Power Plant

2014-02-03 05:30:00
Incident ID 1081
Date2014-02-03 05:30:00
Town
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Incident Description: A coal ash slurry pond spilled, apparently starting sometime Sunday. Details are limited, but the spill is ongoing as of February 4th.

Full Report