DUNDEE ROAD CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS
1999 • Hanover Township, Luzerne County, PA
The Dundee Road Constructed Wetlands was EC’s second AMD treatment system, designed to treat discharge from the Askam Borehole into the Nanticoke Creek. At peak flow, over 7,000 gallons per minute were emitted. Unique to the 2.2-acre wetland was that water was pumped uphill into the wetland area for treatment. It also used a device called a “maxistripper” to add oxygen to the water to increase the precipitation of iron in the treatment and polishing cells. The treated water was then channeled back into the Nanticoke Creek. Over 96% of iron was removed from the water.
Unfortunately, in 2008 the borehole collapsed due to corrosion. The US Office of Surface Mining (OSM) drilled two new boreholes on the opposite side of Dundee Road. This rendered the wetlands obsolete, also marking the start of the Askam Borehole AMD Treatment System project. Currently, the Dundee Road wetlands is used for educational purposes.
January 2008 | Askam borehole collapses. EC addresses immediate flooding issues in nearby residential area. US OSM takes over project, eventually drilling two new boreholes that bypass the wetland system. The Dundee Road wetlands goes offline.
June 2007 | Pump system collapses due to movement of underground materials. US OSM oversees repairs.
June 2005 | Wilkes University conducts research studies using Dundee Road wetlands.
December 1999 | Based on water quality testing over preceding months, the Dundee wetlands in removing approximately 96% of iron from water treated.
April 1999 | System officially goes online, marked by a press conference with Congressman Paul Kanjorski, State Representative John Yudichak, Jeff Lapp from US EPA, and other area officials.
December 1998 | Minor modifications are made to system to improve function.
November 1998 | Construction work nears completion. Pump and aerator tested. However, the system does not go online due to dry conditions and little water discharge from the borehole.
October 1998 | Pump, aerator, and fence installed. Planting continues.
September 1998 | Concrete and piping work continues. Plantings added to wetland basin.
July 1998 | Earthwork completed. Construction of water infrastructure begins. A parking area is also completed.
April 1998 | Clearing and grubbing of site performed by Regional Equipment Center.
March 1998 | Approval to proceed received from US ACE, US EPA, and PA DEP.
February 1998 | Working with Wilkes University, EC completes and submits an Alternatives Analysis Report to US ACE.
November 1997 | Based on discussions with US EPA, US ACE requests preparation of design alternatives for the wetlands project.
October 1997 | EC holds on-site meeting with the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the US Army Corps of Engineers (US ACE), and PA DEP to review permitting issues. All attendees report their findings to US EPA.
Prior to June 1997 | EC had been awarded two grants totaling $925,000 from the US EPA for two AMD projects. The first was construction of a demonstration wetlands to treat an AMD seep on Espy Run. Construction of the Dundee Road wetlands was to be the second.
View of Nanticoke Creek from S.R. 29, orange from iron precipitate.
The original Askam borehole, prior to its collapse in 2008.
A closer look at the thick sludge produced by AMD in the Nanticoke Creek from the borehole.
Excavation for the wetlands basin.
Concrete being poured into a mold for the wetland's outlet.
View of the wetland's settling pond. At the rear of the pond, a nesting box can be seen.
Early view of the system's polishing cell. Newly-planted hydrophytic plants will increase iron filtration/removal.
Treated water exiting the treatment system. Testing indicated 96% of iron within the water had been removed.
More recent image of the polishing cells at the Dundee wetlands. Although offline, continued naturalization of the pond increases recovery of habitat and wildlife.