The dewatering facility will remove moisture from bottom ash, which are particles of ash that are too large to be captured in the air and are instead collected at the bottom of the steam furnace. Currently, water is used to move the ash into ponds for storage, but TVA is moving to a dry storage system at all of its fossil sites, including the Shawnee plant.
TVA completed an assessment of potential environmental impacts for two types of dewatering facilities. Both would remove water, but one would discharge the water from the plant to the river, while the other would recycle the discharge water back into the powerhouse for continued use. In both cases, the dry products would then be stored at a special landfill onsite. TVA also looked at the option to not build a dewatering facility and continue to store the ash on-site.
A Finding of No Significant Impact was issued September 15, stating that neither dewatering facility would have a significant impact on the environment. TVA would prefer the facility that recirculates the water discharge.