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 comprehensively treated and tested before either being discharged through a permitted outfall, or reused for internal power plant processes. This water treatment and removal activity is known as "dewatering". Throughout the dewatering process, the company is committed to protecting water quality standards by meeting its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, detailed dewatering plans, and Coal Combustion Residuals Rules (CCR).
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" for EPD's approval. The site-specific Dewatering Plan identifies the enhanced water treatment system controls and monitoring that will be used during the dewatering process to ensure that the water discharged meets all regulatory standards and is protective of the receiving stream's water quality.
Ongoing testing is an integral part of the dewatering process, which assures water quality is protected. Monitoring is conducted at three points through the dewatering process:
To read more about ash pond dewatering and monitoring click here.
Georgia Power is actively sampling and testing the treated ash pond 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.
Georgia Power provides tables in the reports 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.
Since 2016, Georgia Power has installed approximately 600 groundwater monitoring wells to actively monitor groundwater quality around its ash ponds and on-site landfills at both operational and closed facilities. These monitoring wells are sited, installed, and sampled by third-party professional engineers and geologists. Georgia Power maintains and tests the extensive groundwater monitoring well networks at its facilities across Georgia to assess any potential impacts to groundwater from the ash ponds or landfills.
View plant specific documents for groundwater monitoring, dewatering, ash pond closures and CCR rule compliance.