35 Million Gallons Of Coal Ash And Contaminated Water Spilled Into Dan River, Researchers Say

Posted in: Drinking Water News, Water Contamination, Water Crisis
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Photo Credit: AP Photo/Gerry Broome
In this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 photo, Jenny Edwards, program manager for Rockingham County with the Dan River Basin Association, scoops coal ash from the banks of the river.

Article courtesy of Michael Biesecker | February 25, 2014 | Huffington Post | Shared as educational material

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A team of academic researchers equipped with a drone estimates about 35 million gallons of coal ash and contaminated wastewater spilled into a North Carolina river earlier this month.

Wake Forest University researchers released results Tuesday. The study used photos collected by the drone that flew over the Duke Energy coal ash dump that ruptured Feb. 2 in Eden. The scientists used images captured by the drone to create a digital three-dimensional model of the pit, allowing them to calculate the volume of toxic ash that flowed out when a pipe collapsed.

The reported amount equals about 53 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

An accurate calculation of the size of the spill could be key to determining the amount of whatever fines the company may be assessed for the spill.

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