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Coal Authority upgrades vital mine water treatment scheme in Scotland

June 29, 2020, 12:04:05 PM

GOV.UK

Posted on: 26 June 2020

Coal Authority upgrades vital mine water treatment scheme in Scotland

Image of the cascade at the Coal Authority's Frances scheme in Dysart, Scotland released by GOV.UK

Changes will reduce energy, water and chemical usage at the former Frances colliery site in Dysart, near Kirkcaldy, on the East Fife coalfield.

Technical developments coupled with ever-increasing expertise in cleaning mine water have helped the Coal Authority to improve the sustainability of one of its vital treatment schemes.

Enhancements to our Frances scheme in Dysart, Scotland, will significantly reduce its whole-life costs and environmental footprint:
1. There will be an immediate 15 per cent reduction in chemical usage – roughly 180 tonnes every year – with the potential for more savings if dosing levels can be further cut after we review the water discharge quality.
2. Fewer site deliveries will be needed, giving constant carbon savings and reducing greenhouse gases
3. operational changes – from ‘slug’ dosing to a 24-hour treatment – will end the need for flushing cycles, which should reduce water consumption by more than half
4. Improved pumping efficiencies will lead to significant electricity savings

As the mines in the East Fife coalfield closed, the pumps used to keep them dry were switched off. Over time the water levels recovered and picked up naturally occurring minerals from the rocks, such as iron, which can impact the ecosystem.

Since 2003 our scheme at the former Frances Colliery site, part of our work to make a better future for people and the environment in mining areas, has been collecting and treating this mine water in a series of lagoons before it is discharged into the Firth of Forth.

Because the scheme was working at full hydraulic capacity to help control water levels across the mining block, more efficient pumps were installed in 2013 as part of ongoing refurbishments.

As a result, the scheme which now treats twice the original 80 litres a second design flow, relies on chemical dosing to reduce iron levels to meet the discharge consent.



Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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