The Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance and the Northumberland County Conservation District have installed the fourth passive mine drainage treatment system in the Shamokin Creek watershed at Scarlift Site 15, completed summer of 2006. This site is very accessible just south of SR 61 on SR 901. Treatment began in September 2006.

How is it working? What about the odor?

The mine water has a pH of approximately 4, dissolved oxygen concentration of approximately 2 mg/L, with high iron, aluminum and manganese concentrations. The flow rate is several hundred gallons per minute, and the metal loading is the 5th highest in the Shamokin Creek watershed.

The project is designed to add alkalinity and lower metal loadings. Due to space limitations, the system was not designed to treat all of the water from the discharge, but will remove most of the metal loading at normal flows. Expansion of the system is possible in the future. Most of the ponds incorporate spent mushroom compost (to provide reducing conditions, preventing subsurface iron oxidation) on top of limestone (to add alkalinity to the water). The final effluent has near neutral pH and almost no iron or aluminum in solution.

Funding by PA DEP Growing Greener. Design by Deitz and Gorley Consulting. Construction by Landis Construction.

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Site 15 Discharge

Jon Dietz explores the culvert

Geofabric before installation

Limestone on site

Ponds 5 & 6 b efore geofabric installation is complete

Ponds 3 & 4 with geofabric

Spreading limestone 7/06


Putting limestone around drain pipes 8/17/06

Compost in last vertical flow wetland 8/17/06

Control structure - this flow is intentionally not treated due to space limitations

Overview of system as it fills for the first time - 8/27/06

Standpipes as the system starts to fill - 8/27/06


Overview of system with low flow for startup and grass growing- 10/06


Additional photos can be seen at

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