Water Research

As part of the Water Research Center (WRC) located at Plant Bowen we are focused on finding new technologies to reduce, conserve and improve the quality of water returned to the environment from power plants. 

Water Management & Conservation

In 2016, Georgia Power withdrew on average approximately 600 million gallons of water per day from public waterways, but returned approximately 75 percent of that water back to Georgia's rivers. Because Georgia Power is a major user of water needed to keep the lights on, the company also has a vested interest in using water wisely.

  • We conserve water usage in plant operations by recycling and reusing water.
  • We are updating facilities with more water-efficient plumbing (toilets, shower heads and sink faucets) or automated toilets and sinks.

Georgia Power recycles water we use for multiple purposes before returning it to the rivers. Water can be used to move ash throughout the system, provide dust control, and aid in some maintenance activities.

Seven Focus Areas

The WRC focuses on finding new ways to reduce, conserve and improve water quality for the power generation process in the following focus areas:

Moisture Recovery

Focuses on researching innovative technologies and methods to recover moisture that would otherwise be consumed or lost into the atmosphere through such processes as scrubber and cooling tower plumes and flue gas.

Cooling Tower & Advanced Cooling Systems

Explores ideas such as increasing cooling tower cycles of concentration, diversion/reduction of cooling tower heat loads, the feasibility and applicability of hybrid/dry cooling systems, wet surface air coolers, reducing parasitic load and the use of non-traditional water sources.

Zero Liquid Discharge

Explores technologies that separate pollutants into a solid material and a high-quality distillate. Waters created from these processes could be reused in the plant.

Wastewater Treatment

Focuses on technologies to treat water from various waste streams throughout the power plant such as floor drains and storm water runoff that will allow the use of these waters in various processes within the plant.

Solid Landfill Water Management

Explores water issues related to managing on-site landfills with the addition of new solids such as zero-liquid-discharge salts and sludges to existing landfills containing bottom ash, fly ash and gypsum.

Carbon Technology Water Issues

Develops models to determine the impacts of retrofitting various post-combustion carbon capture technologies to the use of water at the plant site, reducing the impact of CO2 capture on plant water use.

Water Modeling, Monitoring & Best Management Practices

Results from each of the focus areas are used to model strategies for managing water balances and to explore tools for evaluating overall water use (baseline and real time), process and wastewater rerouting, reuse/recycling and conservation/recovery methods and impacts. The Best Practices focus area will develop a standard procedure for formulating, evaluating and selecting power plant water management options based on reliable technical and economic analyses. The end result will enable quick and accurate assessments of water uses throughout an electric power generation facility, identification of conservation, recycle and/or reuse options, and evaluation of the impacts of such options on plant makeup water needs, process water chemistry and wastewater treatment requirements.

Our Researchers Working To Improve Water Quality

1. Water Research Center Lab Area

2. Testing Water

3. pH of a Solution – An engineer records results of total suspended solids measurements for the FGD wastewater.

4. Suspended Solids – Engineer adjusts the pH of a solution.

5. Adjusting the pH – (L to R) while one engineer operates a centrifuge another adjusts the pH of a solution.

6. Evapco Pilot Unit Arrives

7. Water Research Center – adjusting the pH of a solution.

8. Thermosyphon Pilot Unit – (L to R) one engineer adjusts a valve while one adjusts the controls on the Thermosyphon pilot unit.

9. Plant Bowen Activities – Engineers and contractors discuss the day’s events.

Expand Your Water Research Knowledge with These Resources and Partner Links

Water Research Brochure (PDF)

Plant Bowen Fun Water Facts (PDF)

American Electric Power

Arizona Public Service

The Babcock and Wilcox Company

DTE Energy

Duke Energy

Edison International

Electric Power Research Institute

First Energy

Great River Energy

Hoosier Energy

Oglethorpe Power

PowerSouth Energy Cooperative

Southern Research Institute

SRP

Hydro Plants

For over 100 years, Georgia Power has used the natural energy of falling water to generate efficient and economical energy for Georgia.

Explore Hydro Plants

River Renewal

Georgia Power sponsors and participates in river and lake cleanups around the state near many of our generating facilities. Learn how you can help give back to the environment.

Get Involved