Case study:Saltburn Gill ironstones mines
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|Project web site|
|Themes||Economic aspects, Social benefits, Water quality|
|Main contact forename||Peter|
|Main contact surname||Aldred|
|Main contact user ID|
|Contact organisation||Environment Agency|
|Contact organisation web site||http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/|
|Partner organisations||Environment Agency, DEFRA, The Coal Authority (UK)|
|Parent multi-site project|
| This is a parent project
encompassing the following
This on-going project targets a section of the Saltburn Gill that was negatively impacted by Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) from abandoned mine workings, located upstream of the discharge point. Historically, East Cleveland was a major source of ore for the Teesside iron and steel industry, specially from the 1850’s until the early 1960’s. Afterwards, the decline of the mining activity resulted in an uncontrolled abandonment of the working mines in within the region.
In 1999, the mine discharge rose the typical iron levels of the Saltburn Beck from around 0.1 milligrammes per litre (mg/l) to in excess of 1200mg/l. Over 330kg of iron ochre is deposited on the stream bed every day. In one year, this is the equivalent of over 100 tonnes of iron into the North Sea. The devastating effects on the ecology readily appeared, mainly due to the drastic depletion in the oxygen levels. A biological impact survey of the stream showed that the pollution reduced the water quality of the beck from good to bad status along to 2 km of the watercourse from the discharge point to the sea.
The Saltburn Gill Action Group (SGAG) was set up in 2005 as a community action group. Assistance was given by The Environment Agency, Teesside University, the local Wildlife Trust, the Parish Council and others to try to find a solution to this problem. Then, several site investigations were carried out with insights to build up a treatment plant.
Funding from DEFRA and the Environment Agency allowed the development of a treatment scheme and construction started in December 2012. This will involve a large pumping borehole into the mine workings and settlement ponds and reed beds. It is expected to start pumping in the spring or early summer of 2013 and final drying up of the polluting discharge and construction of the final parts of the scheme may not happen until 2014-15.
The River Restoration Centre would like to thank Peter Aldred from the Environment Agency for providing the information and photographs for this case study.
Monitoring surveys and results
Catchment and subcatchment
Select a catchment/subcatchment
Cost for project phases
Reasons for river restoration
Hydromorphological quality elements
Biological quality elements
Physico-chemical quality elements
Additional documents and videos