Impact of Fly Ash Placement in an Abandoned Opencast Mine on Surface and Ground Water Quality: A Case Study

  • Bably PrasadEmail author
  • Deblina Maiti
  • Krishna Kant Kumar Singh
Technical Article


We investigated potential contamination of surface and ground water due to placement of fly ash in an abandoned area of an active opencast mine. Leachates from the fly ash and pond ash did not exceed the effluent discharge limits for inland surface water. Even though iron was one of the major components of the ash, it did not exceed 0.3 mg/L in the leachates. Water quality studies carried out at the coal mine indicated that fly ash disposal there, was not affecting the groundwater, but that the water discharged from the active portion of the mine contained high concentrations of total hardness, total dissolved solids (TDS), sulphate, manganese, and iron, exceeding India’s effluent discharge limits. The nearby Ajay River was not contaminated but the confluence point where the mine water met the Ajay River contained high levels of TDS, sulphate, and manganese. Groundwater in the area surrounding the mine was not significantly impacted. Multivariate statistical analysis was carried out to determine the relationships between the different water quality parameters.


Water pollution Leaching characteristics Batch experiment Multivariate statistical analysis 

Der Einfluss von Flugascheablagerungen in einem aufgelassenen Tagebau auf die Oberflächenwasser und Grundwasserqualität: Eine Fallstudie


In dieser Studie wird die mögliche Belastung von Oberflächen- und Grundwasser durch die Einlagerung von Flugasche in einen abgeworfenen Teilbereich eines aktiven Tagebaus untersucht. Die Sickerwassergehalte aus der Flugasche bzw. der Asche aus Absatzbecken übersteigen nicht die Grenzwerte für Abwassereinleitungen in Oberflächengewässer. Obwohl Eisen die Hauptkomponente der Asche darstellt, weisen die Konzentrationen im Sickerwasser Werte unter 0.3 mg/L auf. Studien über die Wasserqualität des Kohlebergbaus zeigen, dass die Ascheablagerungen die Grundwasserqualität nicht beeinflussen. Jedoch weisen Abwässer des aktiven Bergbauteils hohe Konzentrationen an Härtebildnern, Gesamtkonzentrationen (TDS), Sulfat, Mangan und Eisen auf, welche die indischen Abwassergrenzwerte übersteigen. Der nahe gelegene Vorfluter Ajay ist zwar nicht betroffen, jedoch werden am Zufluss des Bergbauabwassers hohe Konzentrationen an TDS, Sulfat und Mangan gemessen. Das Grundwasser in der Umgebung wird nicht signifikant beeinflusst. Durch multivariate Statistikanalysen wird ein Zusammenhang zwischen den unterschiedlichen Wasserqualitätsparametern nachgewiesen.

Impacto de la presencia de cenizas volantes en una mina a cielo abierto abandonada en la calidad del agua superficial y subterránea: un estudio de caso


Investigamos la posible contaminación de las aguas superficiales y subterráneas debido a la presencia de cenizas volantes en un área abandonada de una mina a cielo abierto activa. Los lixiviados de la ceniza volante y la ceniza del estanque no excedieron los límites de descarga de efluentes para las aguas superficiales continentales. Aunque el hierro era uno de los principales componentes de la ceniza, no superaba los 0,3 mg / l en los lixiviados. Los estudios de calidad del agua realizados en la mina de carbón indicaron que la eliminación de cenizas volantes no afectaba las aguas subterráneas, pero que el agua descargada de la porción activa de la mina contenía altas concentraciones de dureza total, sólidos totales disueltos (TDS), sulfato, hierro y manganeso, excediendo los límites de vertido de efluentes de la India. El cercano río Ajay no estaba contaminado, pero el punto de confluencia donde el agua de la mina se encontraba con el río Ajay contenía altos niveles de TDS, sulfato y manganeso. El agua subterránea en el área que rodea la mina no fue significativamente afectada. El análisis estadístico multivariante fue llevado a cabo para determinar las relaciones entre los diferentes parámetros de calidad del agua.





The authors thank Dr. Pradeep Kumar Singh, Director, CSIR-Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Dhanbad, for continuous support and motivation during the investigation period. The authors also thank Integrated Coal Mining Limited (ICML), Asansol, and West Bengal for providing the project and funding to carrying out the investigation. Dr. Mobin Ahmed, Senior Scientist of the CSIR-Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Dhanbad is duly acknowledged for his kind help in preparation of Fig. 1.

Supplementary material

10230_2018_577_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 17 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bably Prasad
    • 1
  • Deblina Maiti
    • 1
  • Krishna Kant Kumar Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Natural Resources and Environment ManagementCSIR-Central Institute of Mining and Fuel ResearchDhanbadIndia

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