Automated Data Collection and Processing for Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Pond Closure




Project Info

Client
Confidential

Location
United States

Description

The 2015 US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) CCR regulations have resulted in a shift in the coal-fired power industry. Power companies now have immediate needs to manage the safe and environmentally protective closure of CCR facilities.

CCR management is costly, potentially hazardous, and can vary in level of complexity, involving excavation, transportation, treatment, and extensive manual labor, with each project having site-specific challenges. Golder provides a variety of innovative solutions for CCR projects.

MANUAL DATA
COLLECTION PROCESS

MANUAL DATA
COLLECTION PROCESS

MANUAL DATA
COLLECTION PROCESS

Golder is working with a US power client to consolidate CCR material into an existing surface impoundment. The project includes a multi-faceted approach in which Golder assists with groundwater monitoring, impoundment dewatering, and CCR excavation. Monitoring of pore pressure during dewatering and excavation activities are critical for observing impoundment stability and ensuring a safe work environment.

To facilitate monitoring at the facility, 17 vibrating wire piezometers were installed in the consolidated CCR and the impoundment dam to monitor pore pressure data. The data is used as an indicator of dewatering performance and stability, as well as groundwater conditions within the CCR unit.

The collection and processing of pore pressure data posed challenges including health and safety risk associated with piezometer access and delays in recognizing changing conditions. Data collection from the piezometers was initially performed manually once a week and sent to a local office where it was processed and formatted in a spreadsheet. These manual methods were costly, requiring a substantial amount of time and resources. Weekly collection of the data also created delays in reporting and the awareness of potential issues, as well as data quality issues. Additionally, manual collection of piezometer data in the field created potential for increased health and safety risk as field staff were required to work in and around construction activities and CCR material.

AUTOMATED
PROCESS

AUTOMATED
PROCESS

AUTOMATED
PROCESS

Golder automated data collection and processing on this project by employing remote monitoring equipment with the in-situ field instrumentation. Solar‑powered GolderWatch® cellular devices were installed with the existing piezometers to securely transmit data to EQuIS Live™, where it was automatically processed in real-time according to the client’s reporting requirements.

EQuIS Enterprise, the EQuIS web interface for viewing and retrieving data, allowed the Golder team to provide the client with custom dashboards for easy data accessibility without any prior knowledge of the software.

Compared to manual data collection and processing, this solution resulted in significant cost savings for the client. It also made the identification of potential issues much quicker, allowing the project team to be more responsive to changing field conditions, and eliminated data quality challenges typical of manual processes.

GolderWatch
GolderWatch
GolderWatch

 

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