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HCSA prepared for Duke Energy coal ash leak

South Boston News
SoVaNow.com / February 05, 2014
On Tuesday, Mark Estes,executive director of the Halifax County Service Authority was notified of a discharge into the Dan River Water by Duke Energy. A pond containing ash developed a leak Sunday afternoon from a storm drain pipe that collapsed and separated, sending its contents into the Dan River near Eden N.C. The pipe was located under the ash pond and allowed the liquid from the ash pond to eventually reach the Dan River.

The Leigh Street filter plant intake is on the Dan River and is downstream of the discharge. We can expect our plant operators to see a slight gray discoloration of the raw water as the ash begins to reach South Boston. We have been in constant contact with the Danville VDH Office of Water Programs, USEPA, Department of Environmental Quality, the City of Danville and Duke Energy. Danville has been able to treat the water without any health issues or concerns. Given the distance from Danville and the additional tributary flows from streams and the recent rain event, we should expect little or no impact on our treatment process at the plant.

Duke Energy and USEPA have conducted tests for metals and the physical characteristics of the water and all parameters are well within USEPA guidelines. We are coordinating our own sampling series with Duke Energy and USEPA to assure the levels are within the Maximum Contaminant Level Goals set by USEPA.”

The ash gives the water a gray color and should be noticeable. We should have no trouble removing the color from the water. The ash has very similar characteristics to activated carbon in which we often use to control taste and odor in our finished water and is filtered out very easily.

Currently, our filter plant operates sixteen hours each day and will be able to discontinue withdrawing water from Dan River allowing much of the water to pass our intake without any issues. We will continue to sample and monitor the raw water as the ash moves to be sure that the water is safe to drink. We want to ensure our customers that the water is safe to drink and that we will do whatever we need to do to ensure that water quality is maintained. It is an unfortunate event, however, our staff often remove color from the raw river water in the spring and fall of each year as leaves and storm water run-off influence the Dan River.

Since the incident, Duke Energy has tried to drain the pond to prevent more ash from leaking. Duke Energy hopes to have the leak repaired early Wednesday and we should see the gray color dissipate sometime thereafter.

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"It is an unfortunate event, however, our staff often remove color from the raw river water in the spring and fall of each year as leaves and storm water run-off influence the Dan River." You slack jawed deceptive government mouth piece. Instead of leading innocent people to believe coal ash is benign as leaves falling on a river in the fall, why don't you give them a list of toxins contained in that pollution that is now in the Dan River. http://www.foreffectivegov.org/node/12837
You low life government shill. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/02/03/4661193/duke-energy-plant-reports-coal.html

Comments

"Don't drink the water" should provide his name and contact information so Mr. Estes can respond to a person rather than just be insulted by a nameless online poster hurling insults.

Comments

Mr Estes is correct that the ash is easily filtered out. Danville's tap water is within drinking water standards and the ash is diluting as it travels downriver. Their intake turbidity has dropped from 400 Sunday to less than 100 yesterday. Not that I'd expect the general readership of this paper to understand what those figures mean, but it means the river is cleaning itself by dilution.

It will probably sludge the riverbed and may possibly have some long-term effects from the heavy metals in coal ash. In modern coal-fired powerplants, ash pond runoff goes thru a series of basins where ash sediments out of the slurry. The water returns to the facility's raw water source generally as clean as when it was taken out.

I do wonder why Duke built an ash pond over a storm drain pipe, knowing that between weight of the ash and its corrosive effects on metal and concrete, a breach was likely to happen. I also question why it took DP 2 days to notify HCSA about what was headed their way.

Comments

Oh yea, it’s so honorable intentionally putting a toxic waste product in the water. Why don't you tell everyone what the finite source of that toxin is? I mean the name and address of where it comes from. Which aluminum manufacturing plant or fertilizer manufacturing plant charges the taxpayers of this area money to drink their waste product? http://fluoridealert.org/articles/50-reasons/

http://tv.naturalnews.com/v.asp?v=42652E035A1B1BAAAE1F340B54694975

Comments

"I do wonder why Duke built an ash pond over a storm drain pipe, knowing that between weight of the ash and its corrosive effects on metal and concrete, a breach was likely to happen. I also question why it took DP 2 days to notify HCSA about what was headed their way." I'll bet local leaders never raised any hell about it because they were told that a coal ash pond next to the river was completely safe. I'll bet if you had inquired as to the safety of that little gem you would have been called a wacko tree-hugger.

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Never question authority! http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/02/05/subway-fast-food-chemicals-in-food/5236537/
How many have you had?

Comments

Sounds like posters 1,4,5&6 may have ingested more than their share of toxins, though I didn't know they caused multiple personality disorder. Maybe the ash got into the teapot... wink

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That would be on account of all the really smart people who call themselves leaders who know so much more than the rest of the peons. You know, just like those perspicacious engineers that designed that coal ash pit, the safety officials and inspectors that approved it, or the community leaders with the vision to recognize the danger and who fought so hard to prevent toxic material from being stored next to their source of drinking water.

Comments

It is a shame that the Southern Environmental Law Center spends their time on issues like beach access at Cape Hatteras instead of really important issues like these ash ponds.

Comments

The storm drain was installed when the Dan River Steam Station was built in the 1940s. The ash pond expansion was done in late 1960s. Unfortunately the people who designed it and signed off on it are either long retired or dead. Meaning- people who had nothing to do with it are now being held accountable for someone else's stupidity and shortsightedness.

Not to dismiss the severity or ecological impact of the spill, but the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and others of their ilk may not be telling the whole story any more than Duke Energy is. Their agenda and funding is dependent on keeping people stirred up and scared.

You want cheap electricity, fossil fuels and nuclear are part of the deal. None of the so-called "green" power technologies have proven themselves to be reliable or affordable, and if you scratch the surface you'll find they're not as "green" as their proponents would have you believe.

Comments

I wouldn't use the word cheap to describe my electric bill. However, due to the fact Duke Energy was not having to spend money hauling that toxic mash to a safer location it should be cheap. It's a sad day for future generations because no money can fix that waterway. Decades but not dollars.


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