Utilising treated mine water as a resource for industry
The Coal Authority manages more than 70 mine water treatment schemes across Britain, handling and treating over 122 billion litres of mine water every year.
The Coal Authority’s work to treat mine water has directly:
- protected and improved over 350km of rivers
- protected several important regional aquifers
- enhanced biodiversity and provided local amenity land
Why do we need coal mine water treatment?
When a coal mine closes, the pumps that were used to keep the water out of the mine while the mineral was extracted are switched off and removed.
Over time the water level recovers within the mine and picks up naturally occurring minerals from the rocks, such as iron. This can coat river beds, stopping plant growth, causing wildlife to move on as they no longer have food.
How do we treat coal mine water?
Typically mine water is brought to the top of a cascade structure. Water flows down these steps, which mixes in air.
The air encourages the dissolved iron in the water to become solid.
The water then flows into lagoons where the iron has time to settle at the bottom for removal. The remaining finer iron particles are filtered out when the water passes through a series of reed beds.
Treatment scheme locations
The Coal Authority manages more than 70 mine water treatment schemes across Britain, handling and treating over 122 billion litres of mine water every year and the locations of these can be seen on the map below. Click on a site to find out what the average water flow rate is for the site and whether the water is pumped or not.
Did you know that these sites can provide heating opportunities and supply water for industry?
Interested in making use of our water?
Our water has the ability to service a wide range of uses, so if you’d like to speak to us about how we may be able to support you, please get in touch using the link below.