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Effective passive treatment of aluminium-rich, acidic colliery spoil drainage using a compost wetland at Quaking Houses, County Durham

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paul Younger, Professor Thomas CurtisORCiD, Professor Adam Jarvis


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Passive treatment of net-acidic minewaters using compost wetlands was pioneered in the USA but, so far, has had limited application in Europe. At Quaking Houses (County Durham), strongly acidic ferruginous and aluminium-rich waters discharging from the spoil. heap of the abandoned Morrison Busty colliery have been obliterating aquatic life in the Stanley Burn for almost a decade. A concerted investigation involving the National Rivers Authority, the local community and a nearby University, has established the origins of the polluting discharge and assessed its impact on the receiving water. An evaluation was carried out on the possible treatment methods for the discharge, drawing upon the literature and supported by laboratory microcosm tests. A compost wetland was the favoured option, and a pilot facility was constructed with the assistance of the local community. Plans for full-scale treatment are now well advanced, with long-term maintenance being undertaken by local volunteers at minimal cost.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Younger PL, Curtis TP, Jarvis A, Pennell R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management

Year: 1997

Volume: 11

Issue: 3

Pages: 200-208

Print publication date: 01/06/1997

ISSN (print): 1360-4015

ISSN (electronic): 1747-6593

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-6593.1997.tb00116.x


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