As much as 50 percent of the material that comes out the ground during coal mining is waste: dirt, rocks and other impurities that must be removed from the coal before it can be processed and burned. Coal is washed, crushed and sized at a coal preparation plant, where throughput can average 4,000 tons an hour. If process and wastewater streams are not well-managed, a coal prep plant can flood, become dangerous to work in or be forced to shut down. There are several locations at a coal prep plant where pumps are required to handle collected water: in holding ponds fed by runoff from raw and clean coal stockpiles; in basement cleanup and conveyor belthead sumps; and in truck-washdown sumps. In most cases, the water to be pumped is a muddy, abrasive slurry laden with coal fines, briquettes, dirt and even nuts and bolts from broken machinery.Read More
The company operates nine coal-mining facilities, including surface and underground mines, in southern Illinois.The Challenge
Coal is America’s most important source of power. It generates more than 43 percent of all electric utility and industrial power produced in the United States. In 2010, the country’s 1,400 coal mines produced more than one billion short tons of coal. Given that it can take 3,000 gallons of water to extract, process, transport, store and dispose of every ton of coal, safely and efficiently managing the industry’s process and wastewater streams plays an important role in the economics and environmental performance of coal production and use.Read More
The company is a third-generation, family-owned maker of sausage, sausage products and gravy that sells its products through grocery, supermarket and fast-food restaurant chains nationwide. It has a headquarters in Tennessee and plants in Tennessee and Arkansas. One of the Tennessee plants is a 100,000 square-foot, highly automated facility that employs 370 people and produces 3,600 pounds of gravy per hour and packages 190 million breakfast sandwiches every year.The Challenge
The plant has an on-site wastewater lift station that processes some 200 gallons per minute of rinse water and runoff containing animal fat, grease and some solids; the water is eventually pumped offsite to a city water treatment plant. An ongoing problem for the company has been that plastic sheets or bags from the packaging operation find their way into the wastewater stream.Read More
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