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Abandoned Mine Drainage Project on Trout Run: TR-23

Trout Run: TR-23

The Moshannon Creek Watershed Coalition (MCWC) is proposing to design and install a passive treatment system that will abate an abandoned deep mine discharge, TR-23. The MCWC, in partnership with Rush Township, has received a Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grant and a Growing Greener Grant to perform a watershed assessment and complete a Restoration Plan on Trout Run which was completed in March 2006. Through the assessment, TR-23 in conjunction with TR-24, have been ranked as high priority areas in the watershed. These discharges must be addressed for the restoration of the Sandy Ridge tributary to Trout Run. This tributary is impacted by a total of four discharges that will need to be addressed. TR-23 is the first significant impact and through its treatment, along with TR-24, 0.75 miles of the tributary will be restored.

The TR-23 discharge has an average flow of 133 gpm, and the system to treat it will be designed for a 150 gpm flow. A by- pass system will be incorporated into the final design to insure the integrity of the treatment cells during high flow events. The average iron concentration is 34.38 mg/L and average aluminum is 17.79 gm/L. The deep mine discharges forming a channel and mixes with a spring "bubbling-up" directly along the road. The water then crosses under SR-970 and meanders through a wooded area before entering the Sandy Ridge Tributary to Trout Run. Initial investigation has garnered the belief that building a passive treatment system is the best approach to treating the discharge. Other alternatives will be investigated as part of the design and permitting process.

The Trout Run watershed is located in Centre County, Pennsylvania. The watershed is located on the Houtzdale and Sandy Ridge USGS 7.5-minute quadrangle topographic maps. Trout Run begins on State Game Lands near Sandy Ridge and enters Moshannon Creek in Osceola Mills. Trout Run has been severely impacted by acid mine drainage in its bottom reaches. The water flowing into the Osceola Reservoir is considered high quality, but due to past mining practices and abandoned mines, Trout Run becomes severely impacted by acid mine drainage below the reservoir. The upper reaches do sustain a wild fishery, and it is the goal to restore all of Trout Run to a fishable stream. Local sportsmen in the 1920s took the first steps toward restoration of the stream. They constructed a 0.5 mile ditch adjacent to Trout Run to divert water from an AMD discharge further downstream, thus, preserving fishable stream miles upstream from the discharge. It is the goal of the associated partners to expand and build on this notion of restoring Trout Run through reclamation and remediation efforts.

MCWC has also successfully partnered with Boy Scout Troop #48 of Osceola Mills to complete the watershed assessment. This has been an important and successful relationship for both parties. The Boy Scouts have been actively involved in the initial stages of the project by walking segments of Trout Run, conducting field measurements, installing flow measuring devices, and collecting monthly samples. In return, they have been exposed to an important environmental issue in their local environment, and are aiding in a resolution. They will play a vital role in the success of this project and the future remediation of Trout Run.

This project will be broken down into two phases to maintain its manageability. Phase I will include the completion of project design and permitting including surveying, engineering, E&S controls, and bid packages if necessary. The design will be complete in that it can be handed to a contractor to begin construction. Phase II will involve the actual construction/installation of the treatment system. At this time, funds are being requested for the completion of Phase I of the TR-23 project. A final report will be produced at the end of Phase I with a completed design plan, the necessary permitting, and recommendations for completing Phase II of the project.