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You are here : eLibrary : IAHR World Congress Proceedings : 36th Congress - The Hague (2015) ALL CONTENT : Special Session Design of intake stations : Sustainability, u.s. clean water act 316(b) final regulations, and best technologies available for d...
Sustainability, u.s. clean water act 316(b) final regulations, and best technologies available for design of water intake structures
Author : Mahmood Naghash,
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Section 316(b) guidelines for facilities with cooling
water intake structures require that the location, design, construction, and capacity of intake structures
reflect the best technology available (BTA) to minimize harmful impacts on the environment. EPA asserts
that the withdrawal of cooling water by facilities removes billions of aquatic organisms from waters of the
U.S. each year, with most impacts to early life stages of fish and shellfish through impingement and
entrainment.
The EPA 316(b) regulations for new facilities have been complied with since its inception in 2001 and
guidelines for existing facilities was finalized in July 2014 after over a decade long reviews and court
appeals (EPA 2014). EPA has identified 3 technologies as pre-approved BTA for new facilities which
include i) closed-cycle cooling systems, ii) offshore velocity caps, and iii) reduced intake velocities. For
existing facilities there are 4 additional technologies to comply with in modifying the existing intake
systems. Among the 3 pre-approved BTA the closed-cycle cooling water system is the EPA’s preferred due
to its substantial reduction in water withdrawal from natural waters. The other two pre-approved EPA
technologies directly affect the design of intake system. The intake inlet velocity criteria (while not
directly a technology) results in large inlet structure designs to fulfill the low velocity criterion. The
velocity cap technology is required to be offshore at a required distance with least impact to aquatic life.
The EPA guidelines are to assure U.S. natural water resources are preserved in a sustainable manner for
use by future generation. This paper reviews the sustainability along with EPA 316(b) guidelines on
design of water intake structures and evaluates the pre-approved EPA BTA for thermal power plants
cooling systems. The additional EPA approved technologies intended for modification of existing facilities
also are stated. This paper also addresses innovative measures by the U.S. power industry that have
resulted in significant reduction in consumptive water use through recycling of degraded sources of water
and use of efficient power technologies minimizing the need for natural waters, protecting the
environment and assisting in sustainable use of U.S. natural water resources and protecting aquatic life.
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Chapter : IAHR World Congress Proceedings
Category : 36th Congress - The Hague (2015) ALL CONTENT
Article : Special Session Design of intake stations
Date Published : 20/08/2015
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