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Preston County water conditions return to normal after heavy rain, mine discharge, WVU researchers conclude

WVU Today

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Heavy rains last week pummeled the region hard enough to overwhelm an acid mine drainage treatment plant’s plumbing system in Preston County, causing the discharge of untreated water into Muddy Creek, which feeds into the Cheat River. 

West Virginia University scientists joined the state Department of Environmental Protection in determining that stream conditions near the former T&T Mine in Albright returned to normal after rainfall and melting snow led to a high-flow event. The DEP reported on Friday that the discharge caused acid levels in Muddy Creek and Cheat River to spike. 

Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, and Jeff Skousen, professor of soil science and reclamation specialist, observed the site Monday and collected water samples, concluding that pH levels landed in the neutral range (seven). The pH scale goes from zero to 14. The lower the pH, the higher the acidity (vinegar is a three), while a higher pH is associated with alkaline properties (bleach is 13). 

“The water we tested is well balanced between acid and alkaline,” Ziemkiewicz said. “That’s what you like to see, and there are no public drinking water supplies along that segment that would have been affected. Data shows no effect all the way to the Monongahela River at Masontown, Pennsylvania.” …

To read more: https://wvutoday.wvu.edu/stories/2021/03/09/preston-county-water-conditions-return-to-normal-after-heavy-rain-mine-discharge-wvu-researchers-conclude

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