Drinking Water Receptor Surveys for Duke Energy Coal Ash Facilities

Duke Energy Drinking Water Receptor Surveys for Coal-fired Power Stations

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On Oct. 1, 2014, Duke Energy submitted drinking water well receptor surveys that identified a total of 830 public and private drinking water wells within one-half mile of the impoundments' compliance boundaries at the company's 14 coal-fired power stations located in North Carolina. 

The Coal Ash Management Act requires Duke Energy to survey all drinking water supply wells that are within a half mile and down-gradient of the established compliance boundary for the state’s 32 coal ash impoundments. Since the direction of groundwater flow has not been fully established in each case, DENR required Duke Energy to include all potential drinking water receptors within a half mile of the compliance boundaries in all directions. 

The survey identifies the known public and private drinking water supply wells, recorded private water supply wells and those households where a private water supply well is assumed to exist but has not yet been verified. The number of identified wells within a half mile of the compliance boundary varies greatly from one facility to the next. The Allen Steam Station in Gaston County, for instance, has the largest number with 201 wells identified or assumed to exist. The Dan River Steam Station in Eden, the site of the Feb. 2 coal ash spill, has the fewest number of wells with only two within the one-half mile radius.

In meeting the requirements of the new law, DENR staff is reviewing the surveys to determine which wells should be sampled first, and how frequently and how long sampling should continue. The determination will be completed based on the hydrologic potential for impacts to the drinking water wells.The sampling plan can be amended as additional information is gathered about the flow of groundwater and the extent of any detected contamination.

While the law requires Duke Energy to be responsible for the sampling, property owners can choose an independent, third-party to conduct the sampling and analysis.The third-party must be selected from a laboratory certified by DENR. Duke Energy is required to pay the reasonable costs of sampling conducted by third parties hired by individual property owners.

If well water sampling and analysis indicates that water from a drinking water supply well exceeds groundwater standards for constituents associated with the presence of the coal ash impoundment, Duke Energy would be required to supply an alternative source of safe drinking water within 24 hours and an alternative source of water safe for other household uses within 30 days. 

Below are the drinking water well receptor surveys and supplements received in November 2014 for each of the 14 sites. Some have maps as separate files, others incorporate maps into the original report.

Allen Steam Station - Receptor Survey; Survey Supplement

Asheville Steam Electric Power Plant - Receptor Survey, Fig.3 Map; Survey Supplement

Belews Creek Steam Station - Receptor Survey; Survey Supplement

Buck Steam Station - Receptor Survey; Survey Supplement

Cape Fear Steam Electric Power Plant - Receptor Survey, Fig.3 Map; Survey Supplement

Cliffside Steam Station - Receptor Survey; Survey Supplement

Dan River Steam Station - Receptor Survey; Survey Supplement

Lee Steam Electric Plant - Receptor Survey, Fig.4 Map, Fig.5 Map; Survey Supplement

Marshall Steam Station - Receptor Survey; Survey Supplement

Mayo Steam Electric Power Plant - Receptor Survey, Fig.3 Map; Survey Supplement

Riverbend Steam Station - Receptor Survey; Survey Supplement

Roxboro Steam Electric Power Plant - Receptor Survey, Fig.3 Map; Survey Supplement

Sutton Steam Electric Plant - Receptor Survey, Fig.3 Map; Survey Supplement

Weatherspoon Steam Electric Plant - Receptor Survey, Fig.3 Map; Survey Supplement