By: Matthew Majkszak, AmeriCorps AORC Watershed Member

Our Watershed team, along with representatives from the Ohio Division of Mineral Resources Management, recently toured newly installed acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment systems in Preston County, West Virginia with the WV Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

“The treatment systems we toured were designed with the entire watershed in mind and allowed several sites to be treated by utilizing piping systems and the region’s topography,” Sarah Benton, Watershed Appalachian Ohio Restore Corps (AORC) member, said.

Acid mine drainage is an issue in many Appalachian states, and in Preston County we were able to experience some innovative and more high-tech approaches that we aren’t yet using in Ohio.

From extensive piping systems connecting multiple mine discharges to one treatment site, to alternative types of lime dosers, to a large clarifier designed similarly to wastewater treatment plants, this was a look into new avenues and possibilities for AMD treatment in Appalachian Ohio. This opportunity was a great example of cooperation across states and between agencies and organizations to share ideas and work together toward the shared goal of improved water quality in AMD streams.

Hannah Kopp,Watershed Program Manager, remarked, “I am excited to see how we can utilize similar systems to improve the health of our creeks, bugs, fish, and lives in southeastern Ohio.” Matt Majkszak, Watershed AORC member, adds onto this, “With the adequate funding and design, we could install similar systems, and more effectively treat our impacted waters in Ohio.”