- ALT Brings Life Back To Chartiers Creek
- Touring the Zupcic Hollow Easement
- What is a Conservation Easement?
- Canoeing Around Sycamore Island
- ALT Partners with Urban EcoStewards
- Stewards in Action
- "The Refuge Reach?" "The Steward Ship?"
- Bounty In The Barn 2011
- Mount Washington Community Development and Allegheny Land Trust
- ALT Introduction
- Q&A with Roy Kraynyk
The retention ponds in the AMD treatment system at Wingfield Pines. These are just a portion of the total AMD treatment system.
ALT Brings Life Back To Chartiers Creek
Perhaps Allegheny Land Trust’s most compelling conservation story to date has been the efforts to reclaim the health of Chartiers Creek at Wingfield Pines. Wingfield Pines is an 80 acre floodplain in Upper St. Clair, purchased by ALT in 2001, and is the location of an Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) site into the Chartiers Creek Watershed.
The AMD was depositing up to 43 tons of iron oxide from an abandoned underground coal mine each year into Chartiers Creek. This can smother out plant and animal life in streams if it is not removed. Before Allegheny Land Trust purchased Wingfield Pines, Chartiers Creek’s water quality had been significantly diminished from many years of the AMD discharge.
Allegheny Land Trust, aided by Hedin Environmental, stepped in and created a passive AMD treatment system to clean the water, and bring life back to Chartiers Creek. This system consists of a gravity infused pipeline with 150 jets pushing the water through a series of four pie shaped ponds which capture the iron. As the iron comes in contact with oxygen, it becomes heavier than the water, and sinks to the bottom of the ponds. A wetland filters out the last of the iron with the use of native plants. When the settled iron reached a certain point, it is removed from the ponds, recycled and used as pigment. The passive AMD system requires no energy inputs, and flows entirely on its own accord.
In an aerial shot of the passive AMD system, you can see the color change as the iron dissolves from the water. Iron enters the settling ponds at 13.60 mg/L and by the time that water has flowed through the entire system (a process that takes about 40 hours) iron levels are down to an astonishing 0.12 mg/L.
Since the development of the treatment system, Wingfield Pines has seen a great deal of wildlife return to the area and the new boardwalks allow the public to enjoy this marvel of habitat reclamation without getting their feet wet.
Thanks to the efforts of Allegheny Land Trust, Wingfield Pines Conservation Area will forever remain natural and the Chartiers Creek Watershed will once again be a thriving floodplain habitat!