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Water is a vital component of all fossil-fueled electricity generation. Cooling water, process water, wastewater, stormwater, and groundwater must all be considered for optimal generation efficiencies.

For all aspects of water management at an electric generating facility, Geosyntec’s regulatory understanding, technical excellence, and diverse experience integrating innovative science and engineering approaches facilitates solutions that encompass whole process issues for our clients that help to minimize compliance costs and maintain operational flexibility.

For example, Geosyntec recently delivered Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 316(a) re-verification studies for two Southeast steam electric generating facilities that resulted in successful maintenance of thermal variances without the need for changes in cooling water system operation. As part of a coal combustion residuals (CCR) project for a major power plant, Geosyntec engineers are monitoring and modeling internal waste streams in order to design a state-of-the-art treatment system that will comply with new requirements under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) steam electric Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG). For a coal-fired plant in the Midwest, data from Geosyntec’s in-stream macroinvertebrate assessment, along with the results of Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) testing, provided compelling evidence that assisted a state regulatory agency in revising chloride and sulfate criteria to more appropriately protect beneficial uses without requiring major changes in the plant’s wastewater treatment system.

In addition, our scientists’ leading-edge understanding of the regulatory processes of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and our expertise on natural resource management has supported favorable license terms and conditions for the re-licensing of several major hydroelectric facilities. Geosyntec practitioners are pioneers in developing treatment methods for arsenic, boron, and other constituents of interest in groundwater at power plants across the Southeast.


  • Steam electric ELG strategies
  • Water foot printing and waste stream characterization
  • Wastewater management and optimization
  • Section 316(a) and (b) compliance
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting and compliance
  • FERC hydropower licensing and compliance
  • Surface water quality monitoring
  • Fisheries and aquatic resource assessment
  • Hydrodynamic and water quality modeling
  • Computational fluid dynamic modeling of cooling water intake and discharge flows
  • CWA Section 404 wetlands permitting
  • Stream geomorphic assessment and restoration
  • Stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs)
  • Global and local water risk assessment (water-use sustainability)
  • Contaminated groundwater and sediment assessment and remediation