Evaluation of bench-scale acid mine drainage (AMD) bioremediation tests: Water-quality monitoring and data interpretation

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Jan 1, 1950 Jul 31, 2011 Clay, Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Martin, Posey, Spencer, Sullivan,
Vanderburgh, Vigo, Warrick
Director: Tracy Branam
Other Researchers: John B. Comer
Funding: Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) - Division of Reclamation (DOR)
Issue: Low-volume flows of highly acidic water seep from abandoned and reclaimed coal mines at many locations in southwestern Indiana. The water contains high concentrations of sulfate and toxic metals. These seeps are a significant source of pollution in surface water of the region.
Objective: This research is designed to treat these seeps so that the concentration of acidity, sulfate, and toxic metals is much reduced or eliminated.
Approach: A series of bench-scale bioreactor cells has been designed that promote the action of microbes to remediate acidic water flowing from these seeps. Biweekly monitoring will determine which bioreactor cell design is best for field application.
Benefits: Eliminating the toxic outflows from acidic seeps in coal-mined lands will significantly reduce pollution in the surface water of southwestern Indiana. Much improved habitats for aquatic life in Indiana's rivers, lakes, and wetlands will result.