This report describes a feasibility study to consolidate coal waste sludge in a 100-acre pond by applying direct current between floating and buried electrodes. The study was conducted by the Bureau of Mines under a cooperative agreement with Washington Irrigation and Development Company, located near Centralia, Washington. Part 1 covers results of laboratory tests at the Bureau's Spokane Research Center and a small-scale field test at the cooperator's coal preparation plant in western Washington. The process is efficient and cost-effective when power is applied at low current density. A proposed system, fully described in part 2, has electrodes covering 21 acres of pond surface radially arranged around a central power platform. Densification of pond contents would require 2 to 3 years of treatment. Total cost of equipment, labor, and material is approximately $500,000.