Skip to main content.

Groundwater Monitoring and Dewatering

Ash Pond Dewatering

As Georgia Power closes its ash ponds, water in the ponds must be removed so the ash pond can either be excavated or closed in place using proven engineering methods and technologies. The water will be tested and comprehensively treated before either being discharged through a permitted outfall, or reused for plant processes. This treatment and removal activity is known as "dewatering". Throughout the dewatering process, the company is committed to protecting water quality standards by meeting the requirements of the Effluent Limitations Guidelines Rule and its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and detailed dewatering plans, as well as the Coal Combustion Residuals Rules.

Georgia Power provides advance notice to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) before dewatering any ash pond by preparing and submitting an "ash pond dewatering plan" to EPD for its approval. That plan identifies the enhanced water treatment system controls and testing that will be used during the process to ensure that the water discharged is below water quality standards.

Through the information provided, learn how we are protecting the environment by removing water from ash ponds during the closure process at our power plants across the state.


Ash Pond Dewatering Ongoing Testing

Ongoing testing is an integral part of the dewatering process to ensure water quality is protected. Testing is conducted at three points through the dewatering process:

  1. Continuous, real-time monitoring of the water as it is being treated and moves through the system to ensure the treatment facility is operating effectively. Safeguards in place include automatic shutoff of the system so that the water is retreated until testing shows that water to be discharged is below water quality standards.
  2. Dewatering discharge will be tested on a weekly basis. The samples will be collected by a third-party contractor and tested by a third-party accredited laboratory. These test reports will be reported to EPD and posted monthly on Georgia Power's website.
  3. Water samples will be taken from the receiving stream twice per month, upstream and downstream of the discharge. These samples will also be collected by third-party contractors and sent to the third-party accredited laboratory for testing. The test results will be reported to EPD and made available on Georgia Power’s website.

To read more about ash pond dewatering click here.


Dewatering Testing Results

Georgia Power is actively sampling and testing the treated water in accordance with its EPD-approved dewatering plans. Third-party contractors are collecting the samples and these samples are analyzed by accredited independent laboratories.

  • All data is reported to the Georgia EPD and test results available to-date are posted on this site. These results show that the water that is discharged meets permit limits and receiving stream water quality is being protected.

Georgia Power provides tables that summarize individual rounds of testing at each plant to communicate its dewatering results with the public. Detailed footnotes are included to clearly explain the results contained in the tables.

Groundwater Monitoring

Since 2016, Georgia Power has installed approximately 600 groundwater monitoring wells to actively monitor groundwater quality around its ash ponds and on-site landfills. These wells are sited, installed, and sampled by third-party professional engineers and geologists. Georgia Power maintains and tests the extensive groundwater monitoring well networks to assess any impacts to groundwater from the ash ponds and landfills.

  • Monitoring is being conducted in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.

  • Georgia Power will continue to monitor groundwater during and after the closure process to comply with the requirements in the federal and state rules.

  • Post-closure care spans for decades into the future and will include inspecting the closed ash ponds and landfills to verify continued structural integrity, maintaining the integrity of the final cover system, and maintaining the integrity of the groundwater monitoring network.

 

Plant Specific Data

View plant specific documents for groundwater monitoring, dewatering, ash pond closures and CCR rule compliance.