MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A remedial investigation by the Tennessee Valley Authority into arsenic and other constituents found in shallow monitoring wells at its Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis confirms the elements are contained in the shallow upper Alluvial aquifer. The public water supply from the deeper Memphis Aquifer is not impacted.
In the spring of 2017, TVA reported elevated levels of arsenic, fluoride and lead in some shallow aquifer monitoring wells around the coal ash pond at the Allen Fossil Plant. TVA, under the oversight of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, began a remedial investigation into the nature and extent of the contamination.
Yesterday, TVA submitted its remedial investigation report to TDEC. That report confirms that arsenic, lead and other constituents have not migrated into the Memphis Aquifer. TVA will work with TDEC to determine if any additional investigation is necessary, then begin evaluating clean-up alternatives for the contamination.
The information also includes a draft report from the United States Geological Survey on the initial results of pump tests at the Allen natural gas plant conducted by USGS and the University of Memphis. That testing indicates there is a hydraulic connection between the Alluvial and Memphis aquifers. More investigation is necessary to better understand the connection and the impacts of the existing industrial wells in the surrounding area.
No contaminants were found in TVA’s Memphis Aquifer production wells at the natural gas plant. However, TVA remains committed to not operating the wells at this time.
Rather than using the production wells, TVA has been working on contingency plans to supply cooling water to the gas plant and ensure the facility can begin operating later this year as scheduled. The state-of-the-art natural gas plant is more than 95 percent complete.
These plans include purchasing water from MLGW for daily operations, building two, 2.5 million-gallon water tanks at the Allen site to help meet peak power demands, and building a second redundant water feed to increase reliability of the water supply for the plant.
The gas plant is scheduled to begin full operations in late Spring 2018. For more information, go to: www.TVA.com/newsroom.
For more information about TVA and its 84-year mission of service to the Tennessee Valley, click here.
NOTE: TVA and University of Memphis representatives are available today to meet with members of the media at the Allen Gas Plant, 2480 Hennington Ave. in Memphis between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. CDT.
Our media staff is available 24 hours a day. If you cannot reach the contact above, please call our media line at 865-632-6000.