Thanks to the Allegheny Land Trust and Environmental Stewardship Fund funding, discharge from abandoned mine drainage (AMD) from Bridgeville Mine, which closed in the early 1950s, can now be treated. The project restored the health of the water and created a pedestrian area for residents to learn about the areas natural resources. The treatment center sits on 20 acres of the 80-acre Wingfield Pines Conservation Area in Upper St. Clair and South Fayette. It uses five ponds arranged likes spokes in a wheel and an aeration fountain powered by pressure from the abandoned mine to treat 1,200 gallons of mine water per minute. Annually, this passive treatment system filters 43 tons of iron oxide from one billion gallons of mine discharge.
The treatment system includes paths for people to learn how the system works and the sustainable technology used to heal AMD, one of the most visible scars of Pennsylvania’s industrial heritage. The design includes ecological education stations and a pedestrian boardwalk that takes visitors through wetlands that are home to native plants, birds, and even a family of beavers. Visitors can watch the untreated water enter the system bright orange and leave crystal clear on the other side.