There certainly is a lot of attention being devoted to coal ash ponds in the media today from the 60 Minutes broadcast to all the recent print coverage. The media of course uncovers a few bad eggs, but we know that the industry itself has been dealing with ash pond management for decades. At Midwest, we have helped utility customers be stewards of their ash ponds for over 30 years. In our company lore and history, everyone at Midwest recalls the phone call we received from a customer on Super Bowl Sunday, January 31, 1993. The Dallas Cowboys played the Buffalo Bills (Dallas won 52-17!), and our utility customer had major problem; their very large ash pond surface had dried and frozen, resulting in it becoming a major source of dust for the local area. I said “we will be there in six hours with at least one crew and equipment and more will follow. And we will not leave until the pond is secure.” For two weeks in sub-zero conditions, our team sealed the pond surface and stopped any and all dust from blowing from it.
So what does it take to continually manage and monitor your ash pond to avoid emergencies like this and those mentioned in the media?
-Spray a surface sealant on the pond that penetrates to the desired depth, creating a bonded matrix consisting of the sealant and the ash.
-This bonded matrix locks all fines and particles into the surface matrix and eliminates the root cause, free particles, from becoming airborne and a nuisance or hazard to the local area.
-Maintain this application cycle on a yearly basis.
We can provide product and guidance for coal ash pond issues or do a complete turnkey installation.