Performance of a Successive Alkalinity Producing System (SAPS)

Author(s): 
Ben Rees, Rob Bowell, Matt Dey, Keith Williams
Date: 
Wednesday, June 27, 2001
First presented: 
Securing the Future International Conference on Mining and the Environment, 2001
Type: 
Published paper
Category: 
Water Management

Unlike net alkaline minewater that can in certain cases be readily treated in aerobic wetlands, net acid minewater requires distinct treatment. Treatment can potentially be achieved using a Successive Alkalinity Producing System (SAPS) which comprises passing the minewater vertically through a layer of substrate overlying a limestone bed. Assessment of such a system used to treat a minewater discharge in South Wales, UK indicates that iron removal is aerobic resulting in accumulation of surface ochre precipitates. As a result, this leads to a reduction in vertical bed permeability. Without on-going management, this can cause over-spill of the SAPS. Successful long-term treatment using systems such as a SAPS requires on-going management and they should not be considered a walk-away option.

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