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Monitoring and optimisation of the Force Crag metal mine water system

The Force Crag mine water treatment system was the UK’s first fully passive large-scale treatment scheme. It removes pollutant metals from mine drainage.

Project leader

Dr Adam Jarvis

Dr Neil Gray



Project staff

Dr Catherine Gandy


Coal Authority


Environmental Agency

National Trust


Passive treatment schemes do not use energy or chemicals.

Force Crag Mine is an open access area in one of the UK’s most popular National Parks. It has Scheduled Monument and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) status. It was a major source of pollution to local waterways. To treat the metal rich mine water, we constructed a full-scale passive mine water remediation scheme.

We carried out the process design of the system following lab- and pilot-scale trials. The project developed understanding of the exact nature of biogeochemical reactions. We investigated how hydraulic factors and changing environmental conditions influence those processes. We identified the best operating conditions for the maximum removal of metals from mine drainage.