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Biological Treatment of Mine Water--an Overview.

Kleinmann RLP; Hedin RS; Edenborn HM
Proc 2nd Int'l Conf on the Abatement of Acidic Drainage 1991 :16 pages
Biological treatment of coal mine drainage is typically conducted in a series of excavated ponds that resemble small marshes. The ponds are engineered to facilitate the aeration of water and the bacterial oxidation of iron. In some systems, this is followed by an anaerobic step, in which the water flows through a composted organic substrate that supports a population of sulfate-reducing bacteria. The anaerobic bacterial sulfate reduction process can raise the ph. During the past 4 years, over 400 wetland water treatment systems have been built on mined lands. In general, mine operators have found that the wetlands reduce chemical treatment costs enough to repay the cost of wetland construction in less than a year. Biological treatment of metal mine drainage to date has been limited to pilot-scale experiments. Two basic approaches are currently being examined: wetland systems modified to enhance bacterial sulfate reduction and enclosed sulfate reduction reactors.
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 66-92
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Proc. 2nd Int'l Conf. on the Abatement of Acidic Drainage, 1991, PP. 27-42
Page last reviewed: September 24, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division