Coal Pile Leachate—Quantity and Quality Characteristics

by William C. Anderson, (M.ASCE), Part.; Pickard and Anderson, Auburn, N.Y.,
Mark P. Youngstrom, Environmental Engr.; Pickard and Anderson, Auburn, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 6, Pg. 1239-1253

Document Type: Journal Paper


A detailed monitoring of an existing coal pile at Ithaca, N.Y. was performed to determine coal pile leachate (CPL) quantity and quality variations. The total quantity of CPL generated consists of two components, base flow and surface flow. During periods of no precipitation, retained moisture within the coal pile dissolves minerals that are flushed from the pile by precipitation. Following the first flush only minor concentration of minerals are carried from the pile in continuing CPL flows. This is particularly true of total iron, copper, manganese, chromium, and zinc. The CPL pH was found to be generally stable. CPL design quantity and quality parameters can be developed following the collection of sufficient monitoring data for each specific site to permit development of flow and primary contaminant hydrographs describing the flush phenomena and to permit determination of base flow rates and minimum contaminant concentrations.

Subject Headings: Base flow | Piles | Leachates | Precipitation | Minerals | Permits | Overland flow | Moisture

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