Hunter Valley ash dam dust suppression case study

Image: Erizon.

Project overview
Erizon was approached by AGL Macquarie to provide a dust suppression and erosion control solution for an ash dam located at the Liddell Power Station in New South Wales.

The ash dam, measuring approximately 20.2 hectares had raised concerns with onsite officials due to the highly alarming levels of dust emissions detected in the surrounding air.

The client requested an immediate solution that relied heavily on combating the dust issues, which had the potential to cause adverse health and safety problems for employees and the local community. The project would require a practical solution that would withstand the minimum benchmark of 9-months.

Erizon’s environmental consultants took prompt action by attending to the site within two days of being notified of the problem, where they met with leading AGL environmental specialists to discuss vital project objectives. During this discussion, the site was examined, and a drone survey was conducted to provide additional information that would assist in designing an effective tailored solution that would meet the client’s goals.

Based on the site inspection, Erizon recommended the following solution, which was accepted by AGL Macquarie:

SuppressX – Applied at 500 Litres per hectare, accompanied with a 9-month guarantee.

The SuppressX solution had been chosen based on its effectiveness to quickly and effectively eliminate dust prone areas, such as the Liddell ash dam. SuppressX is a scientifically formulated product, engineered to eliminate dust lift, without changing or compromising the substrate beneath it, and for its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions on non-trafficked areas.

Based on the pre-site drone mapping and analysis of the project area, the Erizon team would be required to provide two application methodologies as a result of inaccessible and non-trafficked regions within and surrounding the site. These two options would include the use of a Bell 212 helicopter and a FINN TITAN T330 Hydroseeding truck.

The Bell 212 helicopter would be required to undertake dust suppression works on the Liddell ash dam for 1.5 days of the total project. This aircraft is a two-blade, twin-engine helicopter that is capable of holding 1,500 litres and can apply dust suppression reagent to approximately 11.4 hectares per day. The advanced GPS guidance systems installed on the aircraft allowed for precise application, consistency, and accuracy.

The area around the west side of the ash dam was accessible by traffic, allowing the use of Erizon’s FINN TITAN T330 Hydroseeding truck to hydraulically apply the SuppressX to the edging of the dam at a distance of 100 metres.

Erizon was provided with a short window of opportunity to commence work and eliminate dust in response to the rising levels in the area. The team worked together to tailor an appropriate solution that would cater to the health and safety of the environmental concerns at hand.

The site required approximately 10 IBC’s of SuppressX, for adequate coverage over the determined project area, which was guaranteed to last a minimum of 9 months.

Conveniently in a liquid form, the ultra-low concentration allowed the water-soluble polymers to penetrate the substrate below forming an interconnected flexible crust, which bonded to the fine particles and granules – as a result eliminating dust in the area.

This process took the team a total of 21.5 hours on-site, where they utilise the methodology of a HydroTruck and the Bell helicopter to cover an area total of 20.5 hectares.

The client required a fasted passed mobilisation plan that would quickly and effectively combat extensive dust issues in and around the ash dam.

Optimal weather conditions and clear communication with onsite AGL specialists assisted in completing the project with ease over a two-day application process.

The client was impressed with the efficiency that Erizon was able to provide by successfully fulfilling the dust requirements promptly with the use of the tailored SuppressX solution, which far exceeded the proposed guarantee beyond the nine-month guarantee.

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