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Abandoned mine drainage and water supply
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Abandoned mine drainage and water supply

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mc allister june 19 2013

mc allister june 19 2013

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  • 1. Abandoned Mine Drainage and Water Supply Andy McAllister Regional Coordinator Western PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation andy@wpcamr.org
  • 2. What is AMD? • Abandoned vs. “Acid” • Pre- 1977 • Bituminous region and Anthracite region
  • 3. Extent of the problem • PA has the most abandoned mine problems of any state. • Affects surface waters from abandoned discharges. • Mine pools below the surface. Some may be reasonable quality. • Contamination from runoff from surface disturbances as well
  • 4. Main constituents of concern in AMD affecting water supplies in Eastern Coalfields • Fe • Al • Mn • Acidity • Sulfates
  • 5. Treatment options for surface discharges • Hard to pigeonhole treatment technology. Every discharge different. • Passive vs Active treatment – Cost – Ownership of systems – Available land – Operations/Maintenance
  • 6. Can we treat the discharges that enter surface waters? • Fe, relatively easy, – aeration, settling • Mn, more difficult, high pH required • Al, relatively easy, increase pH • Acidity, relatively easy, using limestone, chitin • Sulfate – Bioreactors, don’t remove all. – RO, can be done but very expensive.
  • 7. Water wells and Mine pools • Some water wells in coalfields are tapping into abandoned mine pools. • Some Mine pools may be relatively good quality. • Changes in pool level can initiate problems— can expose a new reactive area in mine.
  • 8. Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 • Provides for states to use part of their annual grant toward providing water supplies to areas affected by past mining activities.
  • 9. Questions? Thank you!