Cost Effective Screening of Mine Waters Using Accessible Field Test Kits—Experience with a High School Project in the Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment, South Africa

  • Lindsay Fyffe
  • Henk Coetzee
  • Christian Wolkersdorfer
Conference paper


In South Africa’s Witwatersrand mining area, the issue of acid mine drainage has risen to great public prominence, with community-based activists playing an important role in raising awareness. Conventional water quality monitoring is costly and often requires complex procedures. However, simple water quality tests exist for a number of parameters which can be used to identify potential contamination related to mining. These have been applied as part of a high school science project, looking at the environmental impact of gold and uranium mining in the upper Wonderfonteinspruit. The results allow identification and characterisation of water pollution. This demonstrates the ability of volunteer monitoring programmes using simple technologies to complement the work done by regulators, operators and researchers in mining environments.


Mine Water Acid Mine Drainage United States Environmental Protection Agency Waste Rock Uranium Mining 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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We thank the owners of the properties on which the sampling sites are located for providing us access during the course of the programme. LF thanks Mariette Liefferink for creating a mine water awareness that ultimately initiated this programme.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lindsay Fyffe
    • 1
  • Henk Coetzee
    • 2
  • Christian Wolkersdorfer
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Brescia House SchoolJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.Environmental Geoscience UnitCouncil for GeosciencePretoriaSouth Africa
  3. 3.South African Research Chair for Acid Mine Drainage TreatmentTshwane University of TechnologyPretoriaSouth Africa
  4. 4.Laboratory of Green ChemistryLappeenranta University of TechnologyMikkeliFinland

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