Award Date

5-2003

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Environmental Science

Advisor 1

Cheryl McDonnell-Canan, Department of Geoscience Adjunct Faculty

Advisor 2

Helen R. Neill, Chair and Assoc. Professor, Environmental Studies

Advisor 3

Krystyna Stave, Assoc. Professor, Environmental Studies

Number of Pages

21

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the cost and efficiency of four remediation methods, natural attenuation, permeable reactive barriers, pump and treat systems, and bioremediation, and to determine the best suitable method for preventing further environmental degradation from the abandoned Jones-Kincaid Mine (JKM), located within the Pyramid Mining District, Washoe County, Nevada.

Problems from abandoned mine sites may be divided into four types: water quality, public safety, economic concerns, and scenic interests. The foremost problem is the effect of pollution on water quality. Acid run-off and precipitation may be spread hundreds of miles and influence drinking water sources provided to homes and factories.

The remediation of the effects of acid mine drainage from the JKM site compares cost and efficiency of four different remediation methods. I examined these methods using the following criteria: treatable compounds, pH, suitable media, potential detrimental effects, and limitations.

My hypothesis is natural attenuation proved to be the most cost effective and efficient of the four remediation methods studied and works well in both soil and groundwater. Additionally, due to the acid mine drainage at the JKM site, natural attention may increase the pH levels by the remediation of metal compounds. Drawbacks to the natural attenuation method are continuous monitoring and maintenance are required because natural attenuation of contamination may also occur.

Keywords

Abandoned mines environmental aspects; Acid mine drainage purification; Heavy metals pollution; Jones-Kincaid Mine; Nevada; Washoe County (Nev.); Water quality

Disciplines

Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Sciences | Water Resource Management

Language

English


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