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
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