The Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance, in partnership with the Northumberland County Vocational-Techinical School, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the US Office of Surface Mining, has constructed the second passive mine drainage treatment system in the Shamokin Creek watershed. The abandoned mine discharge is located along the Venn Access Road on land owned by the Northumberland County Vocational-Technical School.Rosini Enterprises also donated land for the project.
The mine water has a pH of approximately 7, dissolved oxygen concentration of approximately 9 mg/L, iron concentration of approximately 4 mg/L. The flow rate averages about 40 gallons per minute, and the iron loading is the 4th highest in the Carbon Run subwatershed.
The project diverts all of the water from Scarlift Site 48 at low flow into a series of three oxidation/settling ponds. No limestone is needed to add alkalinity or increase pH. The primary goals are to allow sufficient time for iron oxidation, precipitation, and settling. Treated water flows back into the stream channel.
A display and educational area is being constructed to allow for display of relevant information on this project and related efforts. It is hoped that local schools will take advantage of this facility to teach youth about mine drainage, its treatment, and their community.
Construction of the pond system was completed in September 2000. Fencing was be installed later in the fall before the system became operational. The Northumberland County Vocational-Technical School is constructing the educational area.
The system has been sampled once for dissolved iron on January 2, 2001. The influent concentration was 2.6 mg/L, and the concentration of iron leaving the first pond was 0.2 mg/L. These preliminary data suggest suggest that the pond system will be effective in removing iron from this discharge. Later sampling will include iron concentrations, pH, and alkalinity.
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