Coal mining and water quality, IEACR/80

Author(s): Lee B Clarke

Ref: IEACR/80
ISBN: 92-9029-255-5
Published Date: 01/07/1995
No. of Tables: 19
No. of Figures: 44
No. of Pages: 99


Coal mining activities frequently impinge on water resources. This report considers the impact of coal extraction on water resources and potential causes of water pollution. The disruption of surface water and groundwater systems by surface and underground mining is discussed. Many mine waters are relatively clean and unpolluted. However, some discharges are acidic and contain high concentrations of dissolved metals and trace elements. Acid mine drainage may cause serious and highly visible pollution. Methods adopted to prevent contamination of mine waters are reviewed, together with active and passive options to treat waters discharged from mining activities. Prudent management of water resources requires careful monitoring throughout mining operations and during land reclamation activities. Unfortunately, in the past many sites were abandoned with inadequate reclamation and closure measures, leaving a legacy of contaminated drainage and water pollution. The report examines methods to assess and manage resources so as to avoid pollution.

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