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 Post subject: Pump Fails at Gilberton Mine Pool
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:56 am 
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Location: From Schuylkill County, PA living in Phoenix, AZ
Pump Fails at Gilberton Mine Pool

BY STEPHEN J. PYTAK
POTTSVILLE REPUBLICAN & HERALD
March 25, 2010

GILBERTON - The state-owned pump that keeps the Gilberton mine pool from flooding basements in the borough broke down Tuesday for the first time in 16 years.

"It looks like a motor burned out. That's the best explanation we can find at this point. We're still looking into it," Mark Carmon, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, Wilkes-Barre, said Wednesday.

Efforts to repair the pump could take up to a month, and Carmon asked the borough's roughly 150 homeowners in the area of Draper Street and Long Row Road to keep an eye on their basements.

"What we're telling people is if they have anything valuable in their basement - whether it's a family heirloom or photographs or papers or furniture - they may want to move it upstairs temporarily until we fix this pump," Carmon said.

Mayor Mary Lou Hannon said the matter will be discussed at the borough council's March meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at the borough sewage treatment plant at 2710 Main St.

"This has happened before, and I had to let the people know. We kind of have been down this road before. Last time this happened, there wasn't a problem, but I hope we don't get a heavy rain," Hannon said Wednesday.

While DEP is working with contractors to fix the Gilberton Shaft pump - located at 10 Gilberton Road, just off Route 54 - Carmon said Gilberton Power and WMPI, Gilberton, each has offered the use of its equipment to continue to discharge water from the mine pool into the Mahanoy Creek. That pumping operation will begin this morning, he said.

When asked how long it would take to fix, Carmon said, "last time it took about a month. We're looking at two to four weeks, hopefully sooner."

The abandoned mine workings beneath the borough hold about 1.86 billion gallons of water, a representative from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Harrisburg, said previously.

Carved out in the anthracite boom in the late 1800s, the Gilberton Mine lies in the Lower Susquehanna Subbasin, in the Mahanoy Creek Watershed in Mahanoy and West Mahanoy townships.

The mine pool extends a mile east to west under the borough.

"The underground mining operation closed and de-watering stopped in 1967, after which the workings filled with water," according a 1976 report for the state.

The Gilberton Shaft pump was installed by the state in 1972, Carmon said.

"Our pump could do 14,000 gallons a minute at its maximum rate. It runs three to four days a week ... It's a big pump," Carmon said.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:27 pm 
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Does the state treat the water before discharging it ? :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:33 pm 
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Just thought of something though. If there not treating the water, and they decided to. Whom or what industry would be forced to pick up the tab ? So if there not, maybe its better off. Just wish the state would practice what they preach to the mine operators about water treatment. :!:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:02 pm 
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Location: Schuylkill County
BAMR operates the pumps there. treating the water that they discharge is no concern of theirs, they are exempt from the state regulations. mining companies may have to treat every drop of water but the state only does it when its convenient. their only concerns is erasing any signs that the anthracite industry ever existed in PA.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:38 am 
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here here. "Do what I say, not as I do" - DEP


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:48 pm 
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Location: Hard coal region, PA
Not to go off topic, but cropfall, nice avatar!

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