Buck Steam releases wastewater into Yadkin
SPENCER — The Buck Steam Station released about 8,100 gallons of cooling water into the Yadkin River Friday in an unpermitted wastewater discharge that lasted 30 minutes, Duke Energy said in a press release.
The water released to the river contained no coal combustion byproducts or sanitary waste; it was primarily river water used to cool motors that collects through floor drains in the powerhouse, the utility said.
A powerhouse sump pump is out of service for repairs. While awaiting repair, a temporary pump is routing process water from the powerhouse to a storm drain and ultimately to a series of treatment ponds, which make a permitted wastewater discharge to the river.
The pump hose was relocated to another drain, inadvertently routing water directly to the river for about 30 minutes. The situation was rectified immediately upon discovery.
The water went through an oil-water separator prior to release. The station has taken corrective action to ensure all employees understand the drainage system that is unique to each facility.
The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources has been notified.
State regulations require that the owner or operator of any wastewater collection or treatment system — other than those systems that collect or treat municipal or domestic wastewater — issue a news release when a wastewater release of 1,000 gallons or more reaches surface waters.