Numerical Simulations of Spilled Coal-Ash in The Dan River and The Environment Impact of the Incident

Author(s): Jia, Y.; Altinakar, M.; Chao, X.; Zhang, Y.

39,000 ton of coal ash and 27 million gallons of waste water were released accidentally into the Dan River from the Dan River Steam Station on 2/2/2014. The chemicals brought with the coal-ash and the waste water into the Dan River caused serious concerns of the residents along the river and government agencies because the river is an important source of water supply. Studies supported by the Duke Energy using a 2D numerical model, CCHE2D, were carried out. This is a general free surface flow model with sediment transport, pollutant transport and bed change simulation capabilities. The Dan River from the spill site to the downstream School Field Reservoir, a 40km curved channel stretch was simulated. The channel morphologic change due to sediment transport and coal ash transport were simulated for allocating the coal ash deposition in the alluvial system. Both bed load sediment and suspended sediment transport were both simulated. The coal ash is of very fine particles, most of them are treated as suspended sediments. Transport of Arsenic and Selenium brought by the incident are simulated to evaluate the environment impact. The simulation results are comparable to the data measured in emergency.

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