Duke Energy to start coal ash removal from Dan River

DANVILLE, Va. — Duke Energy will be using Abreu-Grogan Park in Danville to set up some heavy-duty machinery to clean up coal ash along the Dan River this week.

“It will be a major operation,” said Jeff Brooks, spokesperson for Duke Energy.

Large tanks, pressers and heavy duty vacuums will soon be moved into the park to suck up about 2,500 tons of coal ash that dumped into the Dan River after a Duke Energy pipe burst Feb. 2.

“Our goal is to return that park in as good or better condition than we found it,” Brooks said.

That cleanup process may take a while. The coal ash along the park covers an area of about 26,000 square feet and is one foot thick.

“By far, this is the largest deposit that we’ve found,” Brooks said.

Officials will use a vacuum dredge to suck up the ash along the bottom of the river.

The ash will then go through a belt filter press to dry out.

Duke says all the solid coal ash will be dumped into lined landfills in both Virginia and North Carolina.

“It’s a big set up,” said Alan Johnson, Danville Water Treatment Plant manager.

The equipment will be moved from the water treatment plant to the park which will be closed until July.

An inconvenience during the warm summer, but one officials say is necessary to clean up from the coal ash mess.

“I hope the citizens will be happy with this,” Johnson said.

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