Widows Creek Ash Pond Closure Complete

NOVEMBER 7, 2018—The Generation Construction, Projects & Services team has completed the closure of the Coal Combustion Residual Facilities that surround the Widows Creek Fossil Plant. The 600-acre site had seven total areas that needed to be closed.

This included two stilling ponds, a gypsum stack, a main ash facility, a coal yard, a landfill and a dredge cell. To date, the Civil Construction Projects team has closed all ponds, and has environmentally prepared the entire site for the future.

The process included dewatering the ash and capping each pond with a 40 mm liner to prevent infiltration of rainwater. The liner’s 23-foot wide sections were carefully welded together through a hot fusion process to make it virtually seamless. The integrity of each weld was tested to ensure no rainwater could penetrate the closed pond.

The liner was then covered with a geocomposite drainage layer that removes any water that soaks through the soil cap and serves as protection to the liner itself. Lastly, the site was topped with soil and sod, making the closed facilities responsive to long-term landscaping and wildlife that live in the area. 

The closure process is monitored 24/7 for water quality and environmental purposes. Although the facility has technically reached completion by the Generation Construction, Projects & Services group, it will continue to be monitored to meet current and future CCR regulations.

“The project will ultimately cost TVA about $200 million. We are completing a product that will be checked regularly for safety and environmental concerns,” says Kevin McMillion, manager of Civil Construction Projects. “Our team did a thorough job to ensure the completion of the project was timely and safety focused.”

Completing the project safely, within the planned timeframe and under budget was an accomplishment the team and its leadership take pride in.

“I am very proud of the way the Civil Construction Projects team has executed the closure of the Widows Creek CCR facilities. They have worked well as a team, managing the project ahead of schedule, under budget and in safe manner,” says Scott Turnbow, vice president of civil projects, ESS and CCP. 

Now closed, the CCR Facilities will continue to be mowed and monitored by the Civil Construction Projects group.