Upflow Configuration Improves Mine Drainage Treatment

Projects | May 07, 2019


Photo of the Reevesdale abandoned mine drainage restoration in Pottsville, PA

POTTSVILLE, PA — The Reevesdale #2 Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) treatment system is fully operational once again, following an extensive restoration to improve system performance.

Benesch completed an evaluation of the original system which identified issues pertaining to its buried construction and flow direction, resulting in the entire limestone bed being clogged with iron sediment. The team’s recommendation required transforming the existing lateral flow system configuration to an upflow configuration, thereby providing active flushing capability as well as added treatment capacity, pre-settling and screening, and clean-out access to the flushing system.

The new system can treat 475 gallons of discharge per minute, all of which drains into Wabash Creek, a tributary to the Little Schuylkill Watershed. An additional improvement relates to handling excess flow: the system is designed to treat 120% of the average flow, with excess water to be safely routed over the existing stream diversion and maintenance outflow structure. The system can handle in excess of 200% of the average flow.

The restoration was funded by an EPA 319 grant administered through the PADEP. Benesch assisted the Schuylkill Headwaters Association, Inc., (SHA) in preparing the grant application, which covered the design fee and construction costs along with administrative fees reimbursable to SHA.

With the new system fully constructed and in operation since this past Friday, reductions to acid and metal loadings from the mine discharge will be realized for years to come.