Construction of Abandoned Mine Drainage Treatment System Has Begun
Heavy equipment goes to work.
After more than five years of raising funds and acquiring necessary approvals, heavy equipment has been mobilized at Wingfield Pines and work has begun on the abandoned mine drainage (AMD) treatment system. Construction began in early February with discharge site modifications to divert outflow through a by-pass pipe while the settliing ponds and a large wetland are being constructed. By mid-March, the aeration and sedimentation ponds were beginning to take shape. Visit our AMD Construction Photos page to see what has been happening. You can find additional progress reports and system construction photos at the Hedin Environmental website. Hedin Environmental is the designer of the passive treatment system. Their website also has general information about passive treatment systems and examples of many successful treatment projects.
ALT Receives $650,000 for Abandoned Mine Drainage Treatment System
Allegheny Land Trust earned a $650,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The grant will support construction of a passive treatment system that will eliminate iron oxide from abandoned mine drainage that is flowing onto the Wingfield Pines property owned by Allegheny Land Trust in Upper St. Clair and South Fayette Townships. The flow of the iron-laden discharge is at a rate of 2,000 gallons-per-minute.
The treatment system is designed so the mine drainage flows freely through a series of pie-shaped shallow ponds and wetlands that will be constructed to capture the iron sediment before it reaches Chartiers Creek. Currently, the mine drainage is impairing the water quality of Chartiers Creek with 43 tons of iron oxide sediment each year. The ponds will capture the sediment that will later be collected and sold for pigment.
Abandoned mine drainage contaminated with iron
oxide as it flows through the Wingfield Pines
property to Chartiers Creek.
The design includes paths for people to learn how the system works and the sustainable technology we are using to heal one of our most visible scars of our industrial heritage — abandoned mine drainage or AMD. AMD is the most significant source of water pollution in Pennsylvania. It is estimated that 3,000 miles of Pennsylvania streams are impacted by AMD ruining the aquatic habitat and recreational potential of this resource.
Interest in this project is attracting national attention. Three graduate students in Landscape Architecture at the University of Michigan (Joel Perkovich, Mary Walton and Brian Chilcott) have submitted a proposal, Restoration at Wingfield Pines (1.5 MB PDF), for a native plant display and educational kiosk in the area of the former swimming pool. This is to be a first step in a long-term plan for restoration and management of the Wingfield Pines property.
University of Michigan graduate students:
Joel Perkovich, Mary Walton and Brian Chilcott.
Additional information about the passive treatment system can be found on our FAQ page. If you don't find an answer there, please or call 412-741-2750.