Fly Ash Explained and Removal Options

Fly Ash is a Waste Byproduct From Burning Coal. Learn More About the Removal Techniques For Fly Ash Ponds and Deposits.
Fly Ash Pumps

What is Fly Ash?

Coal-fired power plants are utilized to generate electricity. Millions of tons of coal are burned within these coal power plants as fuel.  Combustion of coal produces several toxins as a byproduct, this waste is composed of silicon dioxide, calcium oxide and aluminum oxide while bottom ash contains high concentrations of heavy metals including mercury, lead, chromium selenium and arsenic. These substances are hazardous to health and the environment and require careful handling and disposal.

Coal power plants in the US generate about 110 million tons of ash and residuals annually.

Where Is Fly Ash Used?

Fly ash is used in various industrial applications such as manufacturing of bricks, wallboards, and cement. 

Where is Fly Ash Stored?

20% is stored within large containment areas in a wet state known as ash ponds while 40% is recycled. The remainder coal ash is disposed of as dry ash in large on-site or off-site landfills.

The Solution To Fly Ash

Disposal Methods

According to EPA regulations, there are several options on how properly dispose of fly ash such as:

  • Dewatering and/or stabilizing
  • Consolidating into a new landfill
  • Disposing off-site
  • Capping
  • Converting to wetlands

Fly ash settling ponds over time will enter nearby rivers or contaminate groundwater, it is vital to dredge out the fly ash material before causing bigger public health issues.


(expand on process, in-detail education  style)

type="2_5" _builder_version="4.7.4" _module_preset="default"]

Fly Ash and Coal Ash Pumping Applications:

  • Tailing Ponds
  • Poly-Lined Tailings Ponds
  • River Cleanups
  • Sumps
  • Concrete Basins
  • Process Pumps
  • Fly Ash Transport, Mixing, and Remediation

Fly Ash Pumping Challenges

Fly Ash or Coal Ash is a challenging material to pump due to its abrasive qualities.   Centrifugal pumps rapidly get wear out and lose their tolerances and suction capabilities.  Resulting in significant downtime and increased project duration / costs.

As fly ash accumulates, it is very costly and time-consuming to remove.  The most difficult stages are dealing with the lined and unlined tailings ponds, rivers, sumps, and concrete basins.

Tailings ponds and rivers continuously need to be cleaned out to increase capacity. This process is known as maintenance dredging.  Finding the right pump and dredging equipment can often be a complicated process.  Centrifugal pumps will only pump 10-20% solids by weight.  This means that most of the discharge is water and very little fly ash is coming out of the pipeline. In contrast, the EDDY Pump design can pump 50-60% solids by weight. Pump less water, more solids.

Equipment Options For Job:

EDDY Pump Dredge Equipment:

The EDDY Pump can be deployed in various dredge configurations to optimize cleanup of tailings ponds and rivers.  Some of the ideal deployments for fly ash tailings ponds are Excavator Pump Attachments, Liner-Safe Dredges, Cable-Deployed Pumps, Autonomous Dredges, Spud-Dredges, and the Subdredge. Learn more about fly ash removal methods by clicking the button below:

dredge sled crane deployed

Questions? Call Us: 619-404-1916

Tell us about your project. See the custom pump curve page and we can start the first step of a quote to determine if your project is a fit for our equipment. Contact Us Here

Sales Quote With Custom Pump Curve

Do you know specifics about your project? Let us know and we can create your own personalized pump curve.

See How EDDY Pumps Are Better

Slurry and Fly Ash Video

If you have questions about your application, contact us.

Fly Ash Pumping Photos

Photos of recent ash pumping projects. Power plans and ash slurry ponds are the primary clients of EDDY Pump.

Why EDDY Pumps Are Better – Highlights

This video shows how EDDY Pump beats out traditional centrifugal pumps when it comes to tough slurry and abrasive materials. EDDY Pump is the at the heart of all of our featured dredge pump equipment including the Remote Operated Subdredge, Diver Operated Pump and a Excavator Attachment Dredge Pump.

Call For Sales or Support

If you need help with Pump selection, Sales or Engineering Support, Call 619-404-1916.