Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Candidate in Philosophy

Major

Civil Engineering

Research Sponsor

Teresa Cutright

First Reader

John Senko

Second Reader

Stephen Duirk

Abstract

Acid mine drainage is the formation and movement of highly acidic water rich in heavy metals. The Huff Run watershed, located in Carrolton and Tuscarawas counties, is heavily polluted due to the several abandoned mines throughout the area. This research project serves to further a study began under the supervision of Dr. Cutright of the University of Akron. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has instituted an abatement plan in Mineral City. The plan, involving a retention pond, a wetland, and a limestone bed inoculated of bacteria, has been found to reduce pollutant levels substantially. However, the limestone bed has never been re-inoculated with bacteria, as was originally specified, nor does it have a recycle stream. The purpose of this ongoing study is to analyze concentrations of the present contaminants, as well as to ascertain the chief factor in the reduction of pollutant concentration at the site. From the data collected, it is clear that there is an indigenous population of bacteria. This population reduces manganese concentrations to acceptable levels of 50 mg/L. This leads to the continuing effectiveness of the site at treating contaminated water. Eventually, as more data is collected, a recommendation will be made to the ODNR regarding a plan for future site clean-ups. If it is determined that there is an indigenous population of manganese degrading bacteria, a similar system could be feasible.

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