Environmental Impact of Coal Mining on Water Regime and Its Management


Coal mining is one of the core industries that contribute to the economic development of a country but deteriorate theenvironment. Being the primary source of energy coal has becomeessential to meet the energy demand of a country. It isexcavated by both opencast and underground mining methods andaffects the environment, especially water resources, by discharginghuge amounts of mine water. The mine water may be acidic orneutral depending upon the pyrite content in the coal asinorganic impurities. Acid mine drainage occurs in those mines in which sulphur content is found in the range of 1–5% in the form of Pyrite (FeS2). It degrades the water qualityof the region in terms of lowering the pH of the surrounding water resources and increasing the level of total suspended solids, total dissolved solids and some heavy metals. In non acidic mines, water quality shows high hardness, TSS and bacterial contaminants. The leachate water from overburden dump are found enriched in metal concentration especially Fe, Cu, Mn and Ni except in one of the clayey dumps. High values ofhardness of mine water reduces it's utility in domestic purposes.The article illustrates the quality of acidic and non acidic minewater and leachate characteristics of opencast coal mining OBdumps. Pollutants such as TSS, TDS, oil and grease and heavy metalare found in the coal mining waste effluents. Management ofthese liquid waste at the primary level and secondary level havealso been suggested to control the pollution level at the source.

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Tiwary, R.K. Environmental Impact of Coal Mining on Water Regime and Its Management. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution 132, 185–199 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1012083519667

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  • acid mine drainage
  • coal mining
  • environmental impact
  • leachate characteristics
  • management
  • water quality