A Survey of Experience Gained from the Treatment of Coal Mine Wastewater


During coal mining, water resources may be polluted by acid mine drainage (AMD) if appropriate measures are not taken. AMD releases metals to the environment, which can be harmful to aquatic species and reduce biodiversity. There is a great deal of information available in the literature on the generation and treatment of AMD and this paper tries to summarize some of them in order to facilitate the choice of the most appropriate method for AMD treatment at a specific mining site. The objective of this study was to identify and describe different methods of treating polluted water from coal mining, and to discuss the choice of suitable methods at specific mining sites. Both active and passive methods of AMD treatment are discussed in order to provide a general picture of the measures that have been taken around the world by coal mining companies. From this study, we were able to conclude that in order to choose the appropriate method for a specific mining site it is necessary to analyze the chemistry of the acid water and the flow rate from that site. The cost, implementability and effectiveness of the method should also be considered. Minimizing the amount of drainage water generated is naturally the first choice of management strategy and the containment of the AMD is the second choice. The third alternative is the treatment of the wastewater.

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Pondja Jr., E. , Persson, K. and Matsinhe, N. (2014) A Survey of Experience Gained from the Treatment of Coal Mine Wastewater. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 6, 1646-1658. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2014.618148.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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