AMD is the result of historic and unregulated coal and clay mining. Within these mines exposed minerals, primarily pyrite or fool's gold, react with water to produce acid. This acid leaches metals from the rocks and soils surrounding the mine. This acidic, metal rich water then travels to the nearest stream. Mines can leave miles of stream with little to no life. The streams have high levels of Iron and Aluminum which can leave them discolored. Sulfur is also present which produces an unpleasant odor at these streams.
Over 50 miles of streams in the Anderson Creek watershed are listed as impaired by AMD. The good news for these streams is that there is help. Restoration and treatment can improve these streams so that fish can thrive in them. Throughout the state of Pennsylvania and in other states affected by historic mining volunteers, governmental entities, and other professionals are working to restore these streams and seeing success. Work in the Bennett Branch, Babb Creek, Bear Run and Kettle Creek have all restored fish to streams left lifeless by AMD. Other groups are working in the state and seeing similar results.
ACWA has been working tirelessly in hopes of restoring the watershed. This has included completing an in-depth assessment plan for the watershed, completing an AMD treatment system, and planning others. ACWA works with many partners to complete this work. Please visit the individual project pages to learn more about these efforts.