ET-4F4 (2/16/05 version)
Chemical Integrity: Abandoned Mine Drainage Case Study

Highlights / Details

  • Surface and underground coal mining has affected nearly 40,000 acres in the 683 square mile Raccoon Creek watershed in the southeastern Ohio counties of Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Meigs, and Vinton;
  • Community led efforts to restore the watershed began nearly 20 years ago in Gallia County with the formation of the Raccoon Creek Improvement Committee;
  • Endorsed AMDATs have been completed for Little Raccoon Creek, Raccoon Creek headwaters, and the Middle Basin of Raccoon Creek. The Raccoon Creek watershed action plan has been conditionally endorsed.
  • It will likely take a decade for the effect of AMD remediation to result in stream health changes sufficient to attain aquatic life uses. However, pre- and post reclamation results at two sites illustrate significant progress, with acidity reductions of 87-95%.
Project Site/Stream Pre-reclamation Post Reclamation
State Rt. 124 Seeps, Milton Twp., Jackson County/Little Raccoon Creek pH: - 2.5-3.5
acidity: 23-650 lbs/day
mean acidity load: 41 tons/year
aluminum: 1-60 lbs/day
pH: 4.2-6.0
acidity: 1-50 lbs/day
mean acidity load: 2 tons/year
aluminum: 0.09 - 9 lbs/day
Buckeye Furnace, Milton Twp., Jackson County/Buffer Run trib. to Little Racoon Creek pH: - 2.5-3.5
acidity: 900-4,000 lbs/day
mean acidity load: 373 tons/year
aluminum: 1-60 lbs/day
pH: 2.7-6.1
acidity: 130-290 lbs/day
mean acidity load: 2 tons/year
aluminum: 8- 45 lbs/day
Carbondale Mine, Athens/Vinton counties/Hewett Fork trib. to Racoon Creek headwaters pH: - 3.5-3.9
mean acidity load 58-160 tons/year
aluminum: 5-13 tons/year
iron: 13-40 tons/year
pH: - 11.0-11.2
mean acidity load non detect
iron: 5.3 lbs/day