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