Winner of a 2008 Abandoned Mine Reclamation Award
Winner of a 2008 Western PA Environmental Award
The Fishing Run/Maude Mine Reclamation Project has diverted Fishing Run, a tributary of Miller's Run, out of an abandoned mine. Fishing Run was bringing polluted water to the surface from the abandoned mine and an acid mine drainage source point at Gladden. Fishing Run had been contributing significantly to the contamination measured at the Gladden discharge. Miller's Run is a tributary of Chartiers Creek.
The stream was relocated back to its near historic stream bank location and an open mine entrance was sealed. Preliminary post construction data showed a 30% reduction of pollution entering Millers Run. Additional work on the project included planting 4,000 bare root trees along the restored stream channel, an area of approximately 93,000 square feet, in the spring of 2008.
In addition to relocating the stream channel, dilapidated abandoned mining structures were removed and dangerous highwalls were eliminated through site re-grading.
The 4,000 trees which were planted along the entire length of the stream serve to stabilize the stream banks and to establish a riparian buffer.
Gladden Discharge Passive Treatment System – Design Phase
The "Gladden Discharge" is a source point for abandoned mine drainage pollution, located on private property at the bottom of a steep hillside in the Gladden area of South Fayette Township. Abandoned Mine Discharge, which in this case is water heavily polluted with iron, is bubbling up to the surface from the mine shafts located underneath.
Thanks to PA Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation (BAMR), the SFCG was able to borrow a continuous automated flow data recorder for the discharge site. This sonar device took hourly readings of the amount of water bubbling up to the surface and draining down towards Millers Run Creek. This information was necessary in order to develop a treatment system for this problem.
Thanks to Pa DEP BAMR, the SFCG was able to borrow a continuous automated flow data recorder for the discharge site. This sonar device took hourly readings of the amount of water bubbling up to the surface and draining down towards Millers Run Creek. This information was necessary in order to develop a treatment system for this problem.
The Gladden discharge was the primary pollutant in the Lower Chartiers Creek Watershed contributing 60% of the iron loading and 70% of the acidity loading. The water immediately downstream of the discharge site was not suitable for sustaining aquatic life. Restoration of the Fishing Run stream channel and the remediation of the Gladden discharge point restores approximately four devastated miles of Millers Run, greatly improving the quality of water within the Lower Chartier's Creek Watershed.
In 2009, The South Fayette Conservation Group completed a design option for the Gladden Discharge Passive Treatment System. The proposed treatment system would remove approximately 90% of the iron loading from Miller's Run under average flow conditions. The project, totaling $157,020.00, was completely financed by a Growing Greener Grant provided by the Department of Environmental Protection and includes an anoxic limestone drain, two settlement ponds, a sludge drying pond and enhanced aeration.
Further surface stream loss remediation work within the mine pool area is being proposed by the South Fayette Conservation Group prior to application for construction funding of the treatment system. This additional work could result in an added benefit of reducing the treatment size to a point where the system would sufficiently restore Millers Run, a major goal of the SFCG and the PA DEP.
Fishing Run Stream Sealing Project
The Fishing Run Stream Sealing Project is an extension of our the Fishing Run Restoration/Maude Mine Reclamation Project and Gladden Discharge Passive Treatment System Design Project.
Dry portion of Fishing Run stream bed
While designing the Gladden treatment system, it was noted that the water flow rate at the discharge site was higher than expected following the original Fishing Run Restoration Project. The SFCG in conjunction with PA DEP BAMR, investigated areas of the Fishing Run stream channel above the original project site and observed surface flow loss. Flow loss was also noted in an unnamed tributary in a nearby valley.
Evidence of Mine Subsidence in an unnamed tributary
Geotechnical investigative will explain whether the water is disappearing into the mine spoil or whether its entering into underground mine structures. By determining the cause of the flow loss, we will be able to implement the best solution to restore the flow to the surface. Currently, we plan on restoring approximately 5,500 feet of stream channel using Fabriform Liners.
Restoring the water flow to the surface in these stream areas will further reduce the flow and the amount of contaminants at the Gladden Discharge bringing the SFCG one step closer to its ultimate goal of full remediation of the Gladden Discharge which continues to be the primary pollutant of Millers Runs and the Lower Chartiers Creek Watershed.
Several areas have been identified for remediation and design options are being prepared for submission to the DEP for permitting.