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The Monastery Run Improvement Project:
A Community Initiative To Reclaim our Streams

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The Loyalhanna Creek Mine Drainage Coalition 

Coal Mining is part of Southwestern Pennsylvania heritage, many towns sprung up around the area coal mines.  After mining ceased, the coal mines filled with water and pyrite rock dissolved creating acid and dissolved iron.  The Loyalhanna Creek had a characteristic orange color from the Abandoned Coal Mine Drainage.  

The reaction begin in the coal mine, but is seen when the polluted water exits the mine and reacts with oxygen.  The oxygen causes the iron to oxidize or rust and produce the orange precipitate often referred to as "Yellow Boy" or iron oxide.  

In 1993 the sampling and analysis began on the local streams, specifically Four Mile Run, Monastery Run and the Loyalhanna Creek.  The analysis provided the information needed to determine if Passive wetland technology could be used to effectively treat the mine drainage.  

In 1997, the first of 3 wetlands located on 20-acres of Saint Vincent Property began treating the mine water.  The wetlands allow the iron to oxidize in the wetlands instead of the streams, thus removing huge amounts of iron oxide from the streams each day.  Copyright 2005


Annual Symposium

Project Map

Wetland Sampling Sites

Wetland Chemical Data

Wetland Fact Sheets

Stream Sampling Sites

Stream Chemical Data

Formation of AMD

History of Coal Mining

AMD Education Information and GoodBye Orange Water Booklets

MRIP Interpretative Trail Booklets (PDF)

Saint Vincent College Environmental Education Center & Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve

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