Site 15 Treatment Ponds
The Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance and the Northumberland County Conservation District have installed the fourth passive mine drainage treatment system in the Shamokin Creek watershed at Scarlift Site 15, completed summer of 2006. This site is very accessible just south of SR 61 on SR 901. Treatment began in September 2006.
The mine water has a pH of approximately 4, dissolved oxygen concentration of approximately 2 mg/L, with high iron, aluminum and manganese concentrations. The flow rate is several hundred gallons per minute, and the metal loading is the 5th highest in the Shamokin Creek watershed.
The project is designed to add alkalinity and lower metal loadings. Due to space limitations, the system was not designed to treat all of the water from the discharge, but will remove most of the metal loading at normal flows. Expansion of the system is possible in the future. Most of the ponds incorporate spent mushroom compost (to provide reducing conditions, preventing subsurface iron oxidation) on top of limestone (to add alkalinity to the water). The final effluent has near neutral pH and almost no iron or aluminum in solution.
Funding by PA DEP Growing Greener. Design by Deitz and Gorley Consulting. Construction by Landis Construction.
The overflows seen in this photo were dug out after the system was installed.