Projects

Abandoned Mine Drainage

Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) is the primary cause of pollution in the Schuylkill River headwaters, producing metal-laden and sometimes highly acidic discharges in telltale orange and silver plumes, easily visible in the surface waters. Acidity and metals interfere with vegetative growth, aquatic life, and both ground and surface drinking water resources.

More Overview


  • Mackeysburg

    Rainwater and stormwater was diverted away from where it previously mixed with abandoned mine drainage and to a nearby stream.

  • Mary D Borehole

    A passive treatment system was installed on the Mary D Ball Field, which allows metal to naturally settle into a wetland before being discharged.

  • Minersville Wetlands

    A passive treatment system was installed to prevent AMD entering directly into the West Branch of the Schuylkill River.

  • Otto Treatment System Optimization

    The Schuylkill Headwaters Association received a grant award for over $60,000 to complete upgrades to three AMD treatment systems in Schuylkill County. Belle Colliery, Reevesdale and the Otto systems were all in need of upgrades and adjustments to ensure continued successful treatment of impacted water being released from local mines.

  • Reevesdale Treatment System Optimization

    The Schuylkill Headwaters Association received a grant award for over $60,000 to complete upgrades to three AMD treatment systems in Schuylkill County. Belle Colliery, Reevesdale and the Otto systems were all in need of upgrades and adjustments to ensure continued successful treatment of impacted water being released from local mines.

  • Bell Colliery Treatment System Optimization

    The Schuylkill Headwaters Association received a grant award for over $60,000 to complete upgrades to three AMD treatment systems in Schuylkill County. Belle Colliery, Reevesdale and the Otto systems were all in need of upgrades and adjustments to ensure continued successful treatment of impacted water being released from local mines.

  • 2011 ARRI (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative) Planting Project

    ARRI is an initiative through OSM to encourage coal operators to incorporate tree planting into their reclamation practices instead of heavily compacting the ground and planting just grasses

  • Glendower Breach Restoration Project

    In early December 2010, the Schuylkill Headwaters Association (SHA) completed construction of the Glendower Breach Restoration Project. This project restored a pond breach along the West Branch Schuylkill River, preventing legacy sediment from entering the stream and negatively affecting water quality.

  • Wheeler Run

    The Wheeler Run project removed an old wooden flume and reconstructed a stream bed to keep clean water out of the Pine Knot mine pool.

  • Silver Creek AMD Treatment System

    The Silver Creek AMD treatment system was completed in July, 2010. It treats approximately 1,200 gallons/minute, removing metals and raises the pH of the mine drainage before it flows into Silver Creek.

  • Pine Knot Tunnel Study

    Every day, tunnels underlying the 20 square mile Pine Knot Tunnel study area drain 35 million gallons of Abandoned Mine Drainage polluted water into Schuylkill River headwaters. This project provides a conceptual design and feasibility study for remediation and mitigation of AMD pollution at a collection of sites.

  • Reevesdale South Dip Tunnel

    An Oxic Limestone Drain system with two wetland ponds treats approximately 900 gallons per minute of Abandoned Mine Drainage that would otherwise flow directly into Wabash creek, a tributary of the Little Schuylkill River.

  • Pine Forest

    An anoxic limestone drain was installed at this site to address aluminum, manganese, and acid discharge into Mill Creek, a Schuylkill River headwater tributary.