July 29, 2008 / 3:44 AM / 9 years ago

Transalta warns of possible Alberta dike breach

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - TransAlta Corp warned on Monday that it had found a crack in a dike wall holding in more than 1.5 million cubic meters (397 million gallons) of water at its Keephills generating plant near Edmonton, Alberta, and it was taking measures to mitigate any possible breach.

TransAlta said it discovered the potential breach in the dike at the ash lagoon on Saturday and had notified environmental authorities.

The company said there were no residents in the area at risk from a breach.

The dike restrains a settling pond which is used to store ash from the company’s 766-megawatt Keephills coal-fired generating station.

Michael Lawrence, a spokesman for TransAlta, said the power plant was operating normally.

TransAlta’s Web site describes Keephills as the newest of three generating plants in Alberta’s Wabamun Lake area. It generates enough electricity to supply the equivalent of 800,000 households.

The plant is 70 kilometers (43 miles) west of Edmonton.

Reporting by Scott Haggett and Janet Guttsman; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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