Coal Ashes Leak Into Dan River; Officials Say Tap Water OK - - ABC13

Coal Ashes Leak Into Dan River; Officials Say Tap Water OK


Danville, VA - Many people are concerned after coal ash leaked into the Dan River over the weekend, but Water and Wastewater Treatment officials want everyone to know Danville's tap water is safe to drink.

On Sunday, Danville Water Treatment officials received information about a storm drain pipe that collapsed or somehow separated. The pipe was located under an ash pond in Eden, North Carolina. It allowed liquid from the ash pond to leak into the pipes, which ultimately ran into the Dan River.

The Dan River is where Danville gets its tap water.

Director of the Water Treatment plant, Barry Dunkley, says he was concerned at first what the leak would mean, since he had never seen anything like it. They called upon state and local officials to test the water. Dunkley says because of their filtration system, the tap water is at normal levels. Still, the river is a gray color.

"We want to be sure that the water is safe to drink. We want to ensure our customers that the water is safe to drink. We will do whatever we need to do to ensure that. It's just an event that we'll have to deal with," said Dunkley.

Since the incident, Duke Energy has tried to drain the pond to prevent more ash from leaking. However, it is still leaking.

Dunkley expects it to be completely sealed by Wednesday and they will redirect the pipes. That's when he says you will not be able to see the gray color anymore in the Dan River.


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