Deckers Creek Acid Mine Drainage ARRA Project
Beulah Chapel Site 1 Visit
Acid mine drainage (AMD) has degraded the water quality in Deckers Creek by
lowering its pH and introducing high concentrations of iron and aluminum. The
Deckers Creek Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Remediation Project will treat acid mine
drainage from mining sites using passive treatment measures such as open
limestone channels, limestone ponds, and settling ponds. The project is funded
by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The Beulah Chapel
Site 1 (Preston County) was completed August 6, 2010. It is one of
four project sites.
Large-scale coal mining started in the Deckers Creek watershed at the turn of
the twentieth century. Most of the abandoned deep mines along Deckers Creek
produce acid drainage because of the acidic nature of the Upper Freeport coal
seam that runs through the area. Water seeps into the abandoned mine workings
until the mine pool rises above the level of the creek. Much coal was mined and
their associated workings abandoned long before the passage of the Clean Water
Act and Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. Water from most of these
deep mines flows into Deckers Creek untreated.
The original watershed plan was authorized in 1963 under the authority of Public
Law 83-566. This project is the result of a Supplemental Watershed Plan which
addressed the acid mine drainage degradation issues in the watershed. The
project partners are the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS),
Monongahela Conservation District, West Virginia Department of Environmental
Protection – Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation, and the West
Virginia Conservation Agency.
||Kevin Wickey (State Conservationist) discusses work at the Beulah
Chapel site with Joseph Seybert (Project Manager), James Allen
(Inspector), and Matt Pyle (Project Engineer/COTR). Assistant State
Conservationists Louis Aspey and Herb Andrick also reviewed the work in
progress for the Deckers Creek water quality initiative.
||Kevin Wickey (State Conservationist), Joseph Seybert (Project
Manager), and Matt Pyle (Project Engineer/COTR), discuss the remediation
measures used on the Beulah Chapel project.
||An open limestone channel is a passive treatment measure to increase
the pH of the mine drainage and aerate it as it flows through the
limestone. These processes cause the metals in solution to precipitate
from the water.
||Water flows into a settling pond to collect sediment and
precipitates before entering Deckers Creek. The pond above is partially
complete but functional.
August News and