Watershed Conservation

Abandoned Mine Drainage Services

The Conservancy's watershed conservation program staff provides technical expertise in identifying and treating all forms of non-point source pollution, such as excess nutrients and fertilizers from agricultural operations and sediment from eroding streambanks. This type of pollution is the leading cause of water quality issues impacting our region’s waterways.

Staff assessing an AMD site. Our trained watershed staff provides technical assistance for water quality and riparian area monitoring, macroinvertebrate sampling, habitat evaluations and monitoring protocol development, among other areas of specialty. Our staff is also available to serve on steering and technical committees, and advisory boards at the local, state or federal level.

Why Abandoned Mine Drainage Services Are Needed

Conservancy staff works with local and regional organizations, county conservation districts, and state and federal agencies to restore land and water resources impaired by un-reclaimed or poorly reclaimed abandoned coal mines. Usually caused by the oxidation of iron sulfide, abandoned mine drainage (AMD) refers to the outflow of polluted water from an abandoned mining site. This reddish-orange water is toxic to most aquatic life, and leaves rivers and streams ecologically impaired.

How We Can Help

WPC assesses on-the-ground conditions to determine the causes of water pollution and impairments related to abandoned coal mines and then develops strategies to reduce or eliminate the causes. Often background data on water chemistry and flow are collected to help determine the best treatment system design concepts and methods to reduce pollution levels. We also regularly monitor these sites and work closely with other experts in the field of AMD treatment to develop a conceptual treatment system design concept. We also work to acquire the funding needed for implementation.

For More Information:

Watershed Conservation Program
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
1067 Philadelphia Street, Suite 101
Indiana, PA 15701