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Biological remediation of acid mine waters in a sewage evaporation pond

Workshop Evaporation Pond 2 (WEP2) is a water body used to reduce low pH and high salinity surface water volumes through evaporation. Approximately 4ml of acid dewatering water from WEP2 was introduced into the 60ml Workshop Evaporation Pond 1 (WEP1) in late May 2003. WEP1 is a hyper-eutrophic water body into which raw sewage and CCP workshop vehicle washdown and waste waters are continuously fed.

In situsulphate reduction processes produced alkalinity and removed heavy metals from WEP2 waters. It appears that the WEP1 wetland has fulfilled an example of a site-specific, medium-scale evaluation of the proposed in-void remediation technology. This conclusion is further borne out by the large number of macroinvertebrates and high phytoplankton abundances present again and by the many species of waterfowl also now making use of this previously inhospitable water body.


Researchers

Dr Clint McCullough
Associate Professor Mark Lund
Xstrata Coal Pty Ltd, Mr Joel May

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