History of Waterworks Conservation Area
The site was developed in cooperation with the Indiana County Conservation District, with major funding support from the PA Department of Environmental Protection, the PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources and community partners. Students from a planning design class at Indiana University of PA (IUP), under the direction of Dr. Whit Watts, completed a site plan for the Waterworks Conservation Area in February 2008.
The Waterworks Conservation Area combines recreational opportunities with an environmental remediation project. These remediation efforts include an acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment facility and the construction of an artificial wetland.
The site is located on a portion of the former Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company Lucerne 3A deep mine. As a consequence of previous mining, there is an acidic mine discharge (stream) flowing into Two Lick Creek.
Shortly after World War II the mine was opened as a link between the Upper Freeport deep mine operations south of Two Lick Creek and the newer mines to the North. Physically the link was accomplished by a coal car trestle linking both sides of the creek. This was an active mine site for about 20 years. Today, the trestle abutments and piers are still prominent site features.
The AMD discharge has a flow rate of 100 gallons per minute and a pH of 2.7. To treat this flow, a 75-ton lime dosing silo has been installed over the mine discharge. Powered by water, premeasured amounts of hydrated lime are released into the stream, which will raise the pH of the water and help restore it to natural conditions.