|Sam Barnes is Vice President - Power Generation and Energy, Commonwealth Associates, Inc. He has 21 years of experience in the power industry. As a mechanical engineer and a project manager Sam has been involved in design, consulting and development of coal and gas fired plants. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a BSME and is a trustee on the board of Jackson Community College.|
Best Practice Story: Whether or not coal ash becomes classified as hazardous waste, coal plant owners may be looking at converting their ash systems from wet to dry for any number of reasons. But what does this do to the plant's water mass balance and where will the process wastewater go? There are some steps that should be followed so that all effects are taken into consideration. First, start by characterizing the plant's wastewater flows for both quantity and quality. Future considerations that could add or take away from wastewater generation must be documented. Once a clear picture of the amount and nature of wastewater is known, modifications can be reviewed that will minimize the amount of wastewater generated. Modifications may include both physical changes and operational changes. Once wastewater generation has been minimized, treatment before release to an outfall must be considered. The final step is evaluation of appropriate treatment options and choosing the one that balances compliance, project cost and operating and maintenance costs. This paper will also address upcoming regulatory issues that will likely decide the extent of treatment necessary. The most likely treatment scenarios will also be addressed.