Acid mine drainage (AMD) is the chief threat to water quality within the Cheat River watershed. Many of the AMD discharges in the watershed come from abandoned mine lands, or defunct mining operations executed before the passage of the Surface Mining and Reclamation Control Act in 1977.
Since 1995, FOC and its partners have implemented 15 acid mine drainage treatment systems on private and abandoned mine lands. These projects require the volunteer participation of landowners, and some systems are 10 acres or more in size. Most of these projects use passive treatment technologies that take advantage of naturally-occurring chemical and biological processes which does not require the continuous addition of chemicals. Passive treatment systems often include open limestone channels, limestone leach beds, settling ponds and constructed wetlands.
Friends of the Cheat also maintains active treatment systems. Active treatment systems typically utilize a silo containing lime that is actively added to acidic water improve the water chemistry.
If you own property that is impacted by acid mine drainage from abandoned coal mines and are interested in discussing remediation possibilities, please contact Friends of the Cheat to learn more.