Invent Civil

Civil Engineering news, technology, and opinions

29 Dec, 2008

TVA Ash Storage Pond Breaches

Posted by: Skylar In: news|Stormwater

On Monday, December 22, 2008 a retention pond at a steam plant in Tenessee was broken.  Surrounding roads and lands were flooded and ruined.  The good news is that there have been no injuries reported to date.  The Knoxville News Sentinel has posted an intriguing video of the aftermath:

The worst part of the whole break is that the storage pond was used as a contaminant storage area, containing a mixture of water and fly ash.  This means that the flood waters would be high in heavy metals, and may contain some other forms of contamination.  According to Knoxnews, contaminant testing is underway and the Tenessee Valley Authority is working on a cleanup plan.

The situation is quite unfortunate, and it seems that greater caution should have been used in dealing with a “contaminant storage area”.  After all the work we civil engineers do to try and maintain water quality, one foul error can undo a lot of progress.

TVA Ash Storage Pond Breach [via]

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