TVA Fact Sheet
Widows Creek Gypsum Pond
Recovery efforts at Widows Creek Fossil Plant continue
Updated Thursday, January 29, 2009, 7:00 pm
TVA continues working to remove the gypsum slurry from Widows Creek. The material has been boomed and vacuum trucks are removing it from the surface of the water and placing it back onto TVA property.
As of Wednesday, January 28, TVA has collected 938 truck loads of gypsum slurry, which is an estimated 24,495 cubic yards of material. The majority of this material was recovered from the stilling pond and a trench located on TVA property.
TVA has also placed a 1,300-foot turbidity curtain (a boom with a skirt) at the release location on the settling pond to prevent additional material from being released into Widows Creek. A 200-foot turbidity curtain is also at an outfall to Widows Creek.
TVA’s recovery plan includes collecting the released material and returning it to the holding ponds. TVA, EPA, and ADEM continue to analyze data from the area to compute how much solid material remains in the settling pond and how much was discharged from the settling pond.
TVA, EPA, and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management estimate that less than 5,000 cubic yards of material was in the water that came out of the stilling pond at Widows Creek Fossil Plant.
This estimate of the release is higher than any of the analyses indicate may have occurred. The agencies chose to take a conservative approach in their estimation since an exact amount is undeterminable.
The water and material were inadvertently released into Widows Creek and into a slough on the Tennessee River that is on the fossil plant site. Some of this material appears to have made its way to the Tennessee River last week.
TVA’s continues to assess the entire pond system at Widows Creek to ensure safety and environmental compliance.