Schuylkill Headwaters tour
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS The newly competed MaryD Borehole water filtration system treats acid mine water naturally, running the water through limestone and a flushing pond. This filters out the iron and sediment found in anthracite mines.
Tours were recently taken of two projects of the Schuylkill Headwaters Association. The projects were designed to upgrade Acid Mine Drainage systems impacting the headwaters of the Schuylkill River, which begins its journey at the Tuscarora Springs in Schuylkill County.
The projects include the $600,000 MaryD Borehole Filtration System, which was completed this June, filtering 1,000 gallons of water per minute; and the retrofitted Bell Colliery AMD Restoration Phase III system, which will improve the quality of over 800 gallons per minute. AMD is highly acidic water with a low pH.
The tour was led by project designers and experts on water quality, and illustrated the combined impact these two systems will have on the main branch of the Schuylkill River. The projects were part of an overall effort to improve the quality of water being released from abandoned local mines.
Over 1.5 million people receive their drinking water from the Schuylkill River on its 130-mile journey to the Delaware River in Philadelphia.