U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

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Snoddy, B. and C. McCoy. | Mine Design, Operations, and Closure Conference, 7-9 May, Butte, MT, 36 slides, 2019

Abandoned coal mines that operated from 1877-1963 discharge approximately 250 acre-ft of contaminated water to Belt Creek each year. The discharges account for much of the flow in Belt Creek during base flow conditions from the late summer through early spring each year. On average, ~700 lbs of iron and 500 lbs of aluminum are discharged each day. Lower Belt Creek was identified as an impaired water body not fully supporting its beneficial uses. The coal mines around Belt were identified as the top priority for treatment due to the proximity of the community and the resource value of Belt Creek. A 2016 technology evaluation led to the decision to construct a collection system to capture the mine water at the individual discharge points and convey the water to a water treatment facility east of the Belt Anaconda Mine near South 5th Street. This presentation covers an overview of the Belt mines and explains the process design for the treatment plant, which included pumping test evaluations, slug testing, geotechnical studies, risk elimination in the water treatment plant, and equipment sizing. More information on the Belt Water Treatment Project:

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