Polluted watershed becomes community park

HARRISBURG, PA, March 2, 2010 -- In the summer of 2009, a memorial park along the rolling hills of southern Indiana County was dedicated to the volunteers and members of the Blackleggs* Creek Watershed Association (BCWA)...

Mar 2nd, 2010

• AMD treatment systems continue to improve water quality in Blacklegs Creek

HARRISBURG, PA, March 2, 2010 -- In the summer of 2009, a memorial park along the rolling hills of southern Indiana County was dedicated to the volunteers and members of the Blackleggs* Creek Watershed Association (BCWA).

This group is committed to the continuous restoration and improvement to Blacklegs Creek in Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania, that has been polluted with Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) from past coal mining activities. Skelly and Loy Inc. is very proud to have designed and permitted the first AMD treatment system in the Blacklegs Creek Watershed - the Kolb site - where the new community park is located.

In 2000, the BCWA received Pennsylvania Growing Greener Grant funding to construct a passive AMD treatment system to reduce iron and acidity loading of the Kolb discharge into Blacklegs Creek. Skelly and Loy was hired to design and permit the system consisting of a wet seal to capture the underground mine discharge, piping network, innovative aeration system, and a settling pond. To date, the system received regular maintenance thanks to the care of the volunteers including only one piping repair after ten years of successful operation. Visitors to the park can fish along Blacklegs Creek, enjoy a picnic at the nearby pavilion, or walk the short trail up to the Kolb site to see the Skelly and Loy-designed AMD treatment system at work.

Following the Kolb project, Skelly and Loy, in partnership with BCWA, completed three additional projects: Big Run Phase 1 (#2 discharge); Big Run Phase 2 (#7 discharge); and Big Run Phase 3 (#8 discharge). Skelly and Loy is currently under way with design efforts for Big Run Phase 4 (#3 discharge). Once Phase 4 is completed, five additional miles of Blacklegs Creek will be returned to a viable trout fishery, along with the recovery of more than a mile of Big Run, a tributary of Blacklegs Creek.

SKELLY AND LOY, celebrating its 41st year in business, is a mid-sized engineering-environmental consulting firm with 5 Mid-Atlantic offices and is among the top engineering and environmental firms in the nation, consistently ranking among Engineering News Record's Top 200 Environmental Firms. The firm provides expert environmental, engineering, mining, geologic, geo-environmental, water resources, and cultural resources services to public and private sector clients throughout the U.S. and abroad.

*Blacklegs Creek is spelled with one "g," but the watershed association is spelled with two.

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