Mining Publication: Discharge Water Handling and Treatment: Problems and Solutions at a Large Pittsburgh Seam Coal Mine
Recently, a large Pittsburgh seam longwall mine was nearing depletion of a major portion of its current reserves and had begun to develop in a different direction from its original portal area to access additional reserves. This meant that a large area of the mine would be abandoned and sealed. However, continued use of the original mine portal area required that the water accumulating in the abandoned mine would eventually need to be pumped to the surface. This would be in addition to the discharge water associated with the new portion of the mine. Several pumping and sump options were investigated to handle the quantity and quality of the anticipated discharge water. This paper describes some of these options, their advantages and disadvantages, and the final engineering decisions. Some problems and unanticipated outcomes, as well as the eventual solutions are discussed, including: (1) estimates of pump requirements, (2) water pool size, (3) eventual water quality, (4) anticipated inflows, and (5) integration into the overall mine water system.