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Growing Greener Anniversary- Montour Run Watershed Associaton

Stan Sattinger, Vice-President of the Montour Run Watershed Association, submitted this article to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Growing Greener Watershed Program. Learn how the Association has just completed its fifth mine drainage treatment project. See more success stories on the Growing Greener Anniversary website.

Montour Run Watershed Association Completes Fifth Abandoned Mine Drainage Project

The Montour Run Watershed Association protects and remediates the 37-square-mile Montour Run Watershed in western Allegheny County. Working with citizens' groups, businesses, local governmental agencies, elected officials, and the general public, we strive to bring about improvements in water quality.

Over the nine years of our existence, the MRWA has successfully conducted watershed assessment projects, public outreach and education projects, and stream improvement projects involving coordination and partnering with private and governmental landowners.

(Photo: Receiving and settling ponds of the North Fork Montour Run Restoration Project.)

The MRWA has achieved these goals partly through the design and construction of four abandoned mine drainage (AMD) treatment systems. Over $1 million in grant funding has been secured for these projects, much of which has been provided under the Growing Greener program.

Thus far these projects have resulted in the improved health of nearly 10 miles of stream through the removal of about 40 tons/year of acidity and 10 tons/per year of metals.

The specific projects that have brought about these improvements include the following:

-- "The Abandoned Mine Drainage Cleanup Plan for the Montour Run Watershed" identified and prioritized treatment options for 12 AMD discharges in the watershed. (Biomost, Inc., September 2003). This plan was based on the data obtained from twelve months of sampling at each of the discharge sites. Included in the plan, in addition to the sample analyses, were preliminary designs for treatment systems for all sites, plus preliminary estimates of the costs to design and construct them.

-- The Boggs Road Mine Drainage Remediation System is a 5-bay passive treatment system that is removing 3.5 tons per year of iron and is directly improving 2.5 miles of tributary stream as a result. The Boggs system is sited on private property in Findlay Township.

-- The Clinton Road Acid Mine Drainage Remediation System includes two passive treatment ponds that improve about 3 miles of Enlow Run, a tributary stream, and over 10 miles of the main stem of Montour Run by removing 20 tons per year of acid and 2.5 tons per year of aluminum. The Clinton Road and North Fork Montour projects are sited on property of the Pittsburgh International Airport.

-- The North Fork Montour Run Restoration Project, constructed in 2008, is improving about 2 miles of the North Fork of Montour Run by removing 9.5 tons / year of acidity and 3 tons/year of metals. This project utilized two water treatment ponds that had been built by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission for construction of the Findlay Connector, a new four-lane expressway.

-- The McCaslin Road Abandoned Mine Remediation Project, dedicated in November of 2009, will improve the health of nearly two miles of the West Fork of Enlow Run, a tributary to Montour Run
An estimated 7 tons of acid and 1 ton of aluminum will be prevented from entering the streams each year from this site alone. MRWA partnered with the Findlay Township Public Works to situate the buried treatment system within the maintenance yard and still allow use of the property for municipal needs.

The MRWA is indebted to PADEP and the Growing Greener program, which has enabled us to make these improvements. More information may be obtained by visiting our website or by contacting Mark Fedosick, President, MRWA, PO Box 15509, Pittsburgh, PA 15244-0509.


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