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Posts Tagged ‘surface water’

Treatability Study for Heavy Metal Removal from Mine Water

Sunday, July 4th, 2004


Introduction: Historical mining practices in the Coeur d’Alene River Basin (Idaho) have resulted in heavy metal contamination of soil, sediment, surface water, and groundwater. Canyon Creek, located in the upper basin, has elevated levels of dissolved zinc (average concentration ~ 3,000 μg/L), dissolved cadmium (average concentration ~ 22 μg/ L), and total lead (average concentration ~ 174 μg/L). Heavy metal loading near the mouth of Canyon Creek is influenced by surface water/groundwater interactions. Dissolved zinc concentrations in the groundwater have been detected in the 100,000 μg/L range while dissolved cadmium and lead have been detected in the hundreds to thousands μg/L ranges, respectively.

EPA’s consultant, URS Corporation (URS), developed a multi-phase treatability study to obtain quantitative information on a treatment process to effectively remove metals from the water of Canyon Creek. The treatment process incorporated different combinations of pH adjustment, chemical coagulation and coprecipitation, polymer flocculent additions, and additions of ballasted micro-sand to improve sludge settling. The results of the study will be used to help evaluate potential treatment technologies for surface water and/or groundwater at Canyon Creek. These data will also be used to help develop the pilotscale treatability study for Phase II of the study.

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