Jan 03

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A Pennsylvania River Reveals Its True Colors

Public and private groups have treated mine drainage and cleared up the water of the Kiski-Conemaugh. Listen up:


Orange is the color of coal mine drainage (via Melissa Reckner)

Reckner: “When I was a little girl, I grew up along the banks of the river, and we used to go splash around in the water….and when we would come out, our clothes would be stained orange…”

That’s Melissa Reckner of the Kiski-Conemaugh Stream Team. She says the orange was iron oxide from abandoned coal mines. It didn’t harm Reckner, but it made the water too acidic for fish and other wildlife.

Eventually, the state greenlighted funding so watershed groups could treat the mine drainage before it entered the rivers.

Reckner says efforts have been ongoing for more than a decade, and will need to continue. But today people float, boat, and fish in the Kiski-Conemaugh rivers…

And now if you go in the water, your clothes come out clean.

Hear More:

Listen to Melissa Reckner talk about the before and after of Kiski-Conemaugh fish species.

Get Schooled:

 The Fine Print:



Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/toxic-contamination/a-pennsylvania-river-reveals-its-true-colors/