Acid mine drainage (AMD) can have severe impacts to aquatic resources

Contaminated water flowing from abandoned coal mines is one of the most significant contributors to water pollution in former and current coal-producing areas. Acid mine

drainage (AMD) can have severe impacts to aquatic resources, can stunt terrestrial plant growth and harm wetlands, contaminate groundwater, raise water treatment costs, and damage concrete and metal structures.


Mining activities can expose a significant amount of geologic material. While in situ, the interaction of the geologic material with the surface environment is minimal. However, surface and deep mines can accelerate oxidizing conditions.

Acid mine drainage occurs when groundwater comes into contact with remnant coal and rock rich in sulfide. Iron sulfides that are common in coal regions are predominantly pyrite and marcasite (FeS2), but other metals may be complexed with sulfides. These sulfide minerals oxidize in the presence of water and oxygen, the by-product being a highly acidic, sulfate-rich drainage.

In general, contaminated water enters the surface environment via the following:

  • Diffuse surface discharges such as seeps
  • Discharges from underground mine portals
  • Existing surface drainage ditches.

The AMD can then travel either below or above ground, eventually making its way into nearby streams.

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Molecular Filtration has developed a process treatment to neutralized and clean water producing bacteria free water.

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