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Loop Run Watershed Assessment and Development of a Restoration Plan:

Completed June 2004

View asssessment results.

Loop Run

This project was undertaken to develop a plan to restore Loop Run to a habitable stream as well as to identify areas within SGL-321 which should be remediated in order to reduce safety hazards. The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), and NMBS worked cooperatively to complete the tasks necessary for this document.

Loop Run and the Kelley Estate (SGL-321) are located in West Keating Township, Clinton County. The main branch of Loop Run flows 3.6 miles, with approximately 2.0 miles of tributaries in the watershed.

The PGC and NMBS worked together to assess the quality of Loop Run. A stream walk was conducted along the entire course of Loop Run and fifteen sampling locations were established; twelve discharge points and three main stem or tributary locations were selected for sampling. These fifteen sites were sampled monthly for one year for chemical parameters and flow rates. The discharges are high in acidity with most having moderate iron and aluminum concentrations and high manganese concentrations. Two of the discharges, which form a tributary to Loop Run, are high in aluminum.

Six pollution areas of note exist along Loop Run; four of these are significant. The first two of these pollution areas are characterized as large laminar flows along the edge of reclaimed surface mining. The third emanates from abandoned highwalls and ponds. The fourth originates from abandoned spoil. Two additional discharges down stream seep from the hillside. These two additional treatment areas may need to be addressed, but they are not as significant pollution contributors and are likely to be difficult to treat due to topographical issues.

The primary goal of the project partners is to restore Loop Run from the headwaters to the mouth where it enters the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. The ultimate goal is to reestablish a cold water fishery within the Loop Run Watershed that will compliment the recreational opportunities that already exist in the watershed such as hiking and hunting. This will be accomplished through four priority passive treatment projects. The secondary goal is to reclaim abandoned mine lands on Game Lands which pose public safety hazards as well as make the land less habitable for wildlife.

The recommended treatment systems for Loop Run are all passive systems. These passive treatment systems will use the most appropriate of the technologies available at the time of design and construction. The systems will consist of a combination of aerobic wetlands, vertical flow wetlands, and manganese limestone beds. The four priority projects should cost approximately $813,500.

If the four priority treatment projects are complete, Loop Run will be greatly improved. An aquatic community exists in the headwaters and tributary and treatment of the stream should allow these species to expand to the main stem. Eventually we look forward to reestablishing Loop Run as a fishery.