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Major Problems and Issues in our Watershed

Acid Mine Drainage

  • Acid mine Drainage is formed when certain materials normally found underground are exposed to water and oxygen.
  • Pyrite, a mineral containing iron and sulfur, is the material primarily responsible for the formation of acid mine drainage.
  • When oxygen and water react with the pyrite, a mild form of sulfuric acid is produced.
  • This sulfuric acid can dissolve many minerals and metals and can have a disastrous effect upon aquatic life.


  • Unprotected earthmoving activities result in erosion and sedimentation.
  • Increased impervious surface causes increased stormwater runoff.
  • Increased lawn area contributes to pollution from fertilizers and other chemicals.
  • Poorly-planned development results in habitat fragmentation and increased threats to wildlife survival.
  • Prime agricultural lands are lost due to ease of development.

Irresponsible Offroading

  • Which causes erosion, crop damage and destruction of natural areas.

Jeddo Tunnel

  • The largest source of acid mine drainage in our area is the Jeddo Tunnel which drains into the Little Nescopeck Creek, a tributary of the Nescopeck Creek.
  • What we call the Jeddo Tunnel is actually a series of inter-connected tunnels; the first was begun in 1891 and the final one was completed in 1934.
  • The original purpose of the tunnel system was to use gravity to drain water from the underground mines which once were in operation throughout the Hazleton area.
  • Even though the underground mines which were drained by the Jeddo Tunnel are no longer in operation, surface water still enters into the system.
  • Water coming out of the system contains significant amounts of iron, aluminum, manganese and sediment.
  • The average flow from the Jeddo Tunnel is 30,000 to 40,000 gallons per minute although peak flows in excess of 100,000 gallons per minute have been recorded.
  • The tunnel system has a total drainage area of 32 square miles.

What We Do In The Watershed


  • Conduct workshops on topics such as stormwater, rain gardens, and acid mine drainage.
  • Provide resources and information to local municipalities, individuals, and groups.
  • Represent watershed interests at local and regional public meetings.
  • Partner with other environmental groups on grants and projects.
  • Act as a conduit from the public to state and local agencies.


  • Conduct streamside cleanups along the Little Nescopeck Creek and the Nescopeck Creek.
  • Participate in cleanup activities conducted by organizations such as Nescopeck State Park, PA Cleanways, and Greater Hazleton Rails To Trails.


  • Partner with Nescopeck State Park on festivals such as Winter Fest and Back To Nature.
  • Set up display and information table at other regional festivals.


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