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Designing and Sizing Passive Mine Drainage Treatment Systems.

Hedin RS; Nairn RW
Proc 13th Ann W V Surface Mine Drainage Task Force Symp West Virginia Min & Recl Assoc 1992 Surface:11 pages
The passive treatment of contaminated coal mine drainage is a rapidly growing and evolving technology. Passive systems typically require less operation and maintenance efforts and are less expensive than conventional treatment systems. Three principal types of passive technologies currently exist for the treatment of coal mine drainage: the aerobic system, the compost wetland, and the anoxic limestone drain. In aerobic systems, oxidation reactions occur and metals precipitate as oxides and hydroxides. Most aerobic systems are simple wetlands; they contain cattails growing in a clay or spoil substrate. However, plantless systems have also been constructed and function similarly to systems containing plants. Compost wetlands are similar to aerobic wetlands in form, but also contain a thick organic substrate. This substrate promotes chemical and microbial processes that generate alkalinity and neutralize acidic components of mine drainage. Typical substrates used in these wetlands include spent mushroom compost, peat moss, haybales, and manure. Each of the three passive technologies is most appropriate for a particular type of mine water problem. Often, they are most effectively used in combination with each other. In this U.S. Bureau of Mines paper, a model is presented to aid reclamationists in deciding whether their mine water problem is suited to passive treatment and in designing and constructing effective passive treatment systems. The model uses mine drainage chemistry to determine system design, and contaminant loadings to define system size. This paper
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 62-92
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Proc 13th Ann. W.v. Surface Mine Drainage Task Force Symp.; West Virginia Min. & Recl. Assoc., 1992, 11 Pp
Page last reviewed: September 24, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division