Iron Miners
It is currently Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:39 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Dewatering Scrub Oak!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 1:07 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Wharton, NJ
There was a brief (and poorly written) article in last week's Neighbor News about the testing going on at the Scrub Oak mine. The way the article is written, it implies that the engineering firm of Hatch-Mott-MacDonald is filling the mine with water to test its stability. However, reading the article all the way through AND knowing something about iron mines, it is clear that they are DEwatering it. They acknowledge that the mine is filled with water (to what level, they don't say), and that they are draining it to "measure its impact on private wells and other mines nearby."

I was by there last week and saw that they had run a pipeline from the drilling rig to the Spring Brook, which runs from Mine Hill, thru Wharton, and into Dover. Today I saw the water level in the Spring Brook, and it is significantly higher than normal, even after a rainstorm. What's interesting is that the drilling truck is several hundred yards east/northeast away from the former above-ground location of the mine operations. They are actually operating close to the homes near the segment of Irondale Road that meets Randall Avenue. The nearby mines include the Spring and Erb mines. That implies that the deeper stoped areas of Scrub Oak are significantly east/northeast of the former above ground site.

Under a $1m contract from the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority, Hatch-Mott-MacDonald are testing the quality of the water coming out of the mine for toxic contaminants, the effect on "approximately 12-15 private wells in the Scrub Oak area, as well as testing to see "if the mine becomes unstable under the water pump test".

If they determine that they can use the mine to store public drinking water, they will "evaluate the need to acquire land for the development of a pumping station and water treatment plant".

Stay tuned for further developments!

_________________
The past is the foundation of the future.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:04 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:33 pm
Posts: 3088
Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
Very interesting. I was unaware that they were in this stage of development for this project. They must have all of the approvals to dewater the mine into the fresh water stream. I wonder if they are using any of the existing shafts or did they drill a new one for the intent of this dewatering exercise? I would also be interested in knowing if they dropped a pump down there or are they just pumping the surface water to "see what happens" and test water quality? Unfortunately it will be difficult to check overall water quality by just pumping surface water. You may not see the effects of any built up sediment until the water level is low enough in the mine. Pumping the surface water may not show that.

Miner Greg


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 1:07 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Wharton, NJ
Greg,
Unless there was another access shaft in the middle of the woods (unknown to us), they drilled a new hole in the ground. They are near what we mistakenly referred to as the Corwin adit, only further into the woods. I wonder how far they had to drill to hit water? How far down do they plan on going? It will be interesting to see if the Irondale groundwater level is affected.

I'm not sure how they're drawing out the water, but it's worth taking a closer look at the equipment being used. Also, it would be interesting to see if they opened any of the capped shafts. The drill workers paid no attention to me as I walked over to the Erb mine.

A funny thing about the series of articles in the paper about storing water at Scrub Oak: the mine gets bigger with each succeeding article. It is now 3300 feet deep by 1.5 miles long! And according to the author, the mining commenced in the mid-1920s. They are pretty loose with the facts.
Rob

_________________
The past is the foundation of the future.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:10 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:28 pm
Posts: 1764
Location: Winnemucca, NV
Rob, I am very surprised they are already moving forward with this project so quickly. I wonder if they have any mining engineers/researchers on hand. If this in any way affects the water level in area residents' wells, much like Irondale Tunnel did when it was driven, it may be worth examining the water level at the mines just northeast of Scrub Oaks. Let's hope if they are successful and the water tests clean that they call it Scrub Oaks Water Storage and erect new headframes over the shafts -- for historic and aesthetic measure. :D

_________________
"If you thought old, abandoned mines were only in the west, then you haven't been to IronMiners.com!"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 6:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 1:07 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Wharton, NJ
Sure Mike, let's hope they do that!

On a related subject, the nearby capped Erb shafts had steel headframes. That tells me that they were worked relatively recently. I'm surprised that there isn't more documented about Erb. Do you how recently Erb was worked?
Rob

_________________
The past is the foundation of the future.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Erb Mine Shaft
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:59 am
Posts: 40
Are you sure that it was indeed the Erb Mine shaft and that what you saw were the remnants of a steel headframe? According to Bayley's 1910 State Geology Report, the Erb Mine was opened prior to 1868, and was relatively shallow (the report says that it was only 45 feet deep and 60 feet long in 1868). It was closed around 1873. It was re-opened briefly in 1891 in the hope that the ore was of Bessemer grade, but this did not pan out (no pun intended). Hence, this mine was never operated in the era of steel headframes, and it wouldn't require a very large wooden one either.

Alternatively, could it be possible that what you saw were the reinforcement bars in the concrete cap? The 1989 Abandoned Iron Mines Report for the does not mention if the Erb Mine shaft was capped or not.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Scrub Oaks Dewatering
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:59 am
Posts: 40
I spoke to an individual who works in conjunction with the Township on mine-related matters, and the engineering firm did drill a new bore to dewater a portion of the mine (they drilled several other test holes prior to this). They think that they dewatered at least the first level, and claim that the extracted water was potable.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:32 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:33 pm
Posts: 3088
Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
Very interesting. Are they at the point where this project has a good chance of succeeding? I guess the other concern is how good is the water below the first level of the mine? It is always possible that sediment could get stirred around once the water level of the mine fluctuates. Its difficult to say though.

Do you have any idea where the bore holes are in relation to the shafts?

Miner Greg


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Water Pumped from Scrub Oaks Mine
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:59 am
Posts: 40
I had another chat with the same individual, but since our last conversation he has heard the latest numbers floated (no pun intended) by the engineering firm regarding the amount of water pumped out of the Scrub Oaks Mine. They pumped out at least forty-four million gallons, which they currently think dewatered the mine down to at least the fourth level. They are now monitoring the situation to see how quickly it refills to the pre-pumping level.


Last edited by FerromonteFan on Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:03 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 pm
Posts: 387
Location: Hamburg, NJ
Wow, thats allot of water they pumped out. Do you know where its being discharged into? I can just imagine all the tunnels and equipment drying up after all these years..

_________________
www.abandonedmines.net


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Dewatering Scrub Oaks Mine
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:59 am
Posts: 40
I can only surmise that they were discharging it into Spring Brook as MinerRob stated previously (I did not witness this event, but there really is nowhere else in the vicinity to dump this much water, so I assume that all of the water was pumped into the brook). To put things into prospective, this amount of water would fill a space approximately 700 feet deep, 700 feet long, and 12 feet wide.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:17 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:33 pm
Posts: 3088
Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
That is quite a bit of water which they pumped out. Do you have any idea where they pumped it from? Any info on the pumping would be interesting..


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Scrub Oak dewatering & "Is it Erb?"
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 1:07 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Wharton, NJ
Gentlemen,
I saw the temporary drain pipe leading from the drill area heading towards Spring Brook. Like FF says, there really isn't any other place in the area to discharge large amounts of water. I haven't checked to see where Spring Brook goes, but they got a lot of water downstream!

To FF: Regarding Erb, the 1988 Abandoned Iron Mines map shows the site as the Erb Mine. There are two concrete-capped shafts, with very clear remains of a steel headframe. I'd be happy to show it to you, as well as give you a tour of Irondale. (One good turn deserves another! Thx for the excellent tour of Dickerson.)

If it is not Erb, then perhaps it is an undocumented secondary working of the Scrub Oak deposit....in which case, where was Erb?

_________________
The past is the foundation of the future.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Spring Brook and Erb Mine
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:59 am
Posts: 40
Spring Brook runs from the woods in the vicinity of the Spring Mine (I assume that both the brook and the mine were named after a spring whose water flowed into the brook). There are a few small streams that run into this brook as well. It passes under Randall Avenue right at the border between Wharton Borough and Mine Hill Township (in fact, it defines the boundary). It then meanders along the side of the hill until it goes under Route 46 near Saint Mary’s Church. Eventually, it merges with Jackson Brook (so named because the water from this was used to power the Jackson Forge, which once stood somewhere in the area of Hurd Park) south of Dover General Hospital to form Granny Brook, which runs through Hurd Park and passes under Route 46 at the foot of the highway bridge that crosses over the railroad tracks of New Jersey Transit’s Morris & Essex Division. It then empties directly into the Rockaway River.

Regarding the Erb Mine, the 1989 Abandoned Mine report by Shea and Pustay does not include it among those mines listed as capped on Page V. In the vicinity of the Erb Mine (the location of which is schematically shown on the maps referred to as “Figure 2” on Page 11 and “Figure 22” on Page 48) are other shafts near and within the power-line easement. According to the latter map, the Erb Mine is about 575 feet east of the power-line easement, while Scrub Oaks’ Shaft No. 3 (this is the original Scrub Oak Mine, a.k.a. the “old workings”, and it is not listed as being capped in the Abandoned Mines report) is less than 50 feet into the trees from this clearing. Since I’ve never been there, I cannot respond to what you saw, other than reiterate that steel headframes are a Twentieth-Century innovation, and even then, they weren’t that common; in fact, Scrub Oaks’ Shaft No. 1 (i.e. the main slope) had a headframe constructed of huge wooden timbers bolted together and covered in corrugated metal sheets. Additionally, I have not seen any mention that the Erb Mine was re-opened after 1891. According to the 1879 New Jersey Geological Survey report, the Erb Mine, which was owned by the Andover Iron Company, had been idle for a decade. Hence, the description in the 1868 report must still be valid: “[the Erb Mine] has not been very extensively worked. The ore is lean, but the vein is eight or nine feet thick, and capable of yielding a great deal of ore. The vein has been sunk on for a depth of forty-five feet, and has been worked forward on for about sixty feet.” This indicates that the depth probably had not been increased much by the 1891 re-exploration, so there really would not be a need for a steel headframe (the report for that year lists the operation as being “abandoned”). Indeed, a simple winch would be sufficient to raise buckets of ore from a shallow working such as this and the miners would have descended into the cavity via wooden ladders affixed to the sides of the shaft. If there are any steel I-beams buried in concrete atop this shaft, these are probably reinforcement bars and not part of a headframe.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 1:07 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Wharton, NJ
Anthony,
Thank you for expounding on the Erb. What I'm describing is closer to being 50 feet from the power line r-o-w, not 500 feet. So perhaps this is related to Scrub Oak. I think I have a photo of the area which I will send to you by separate e-mail, so you can have a look at the steel anchored in concrete. I'd be curious to hear your opinion.

BUT - and that's a big but - your reply raises questions about the fenced-off property slightly northeast of this site. From Google Satellite, it looks just like the quarrying effort near Scub Oak. It is clearly an industrial site (adjacent to the home at the end of Old Irondale Rd) judging by the trucks and equipment that are visible from the Irondale trail. I wonder if the remains of the Erb mine are on this property? 500 ft from the r-o-w would put you here. This requires further investigation!

Happy Trails

_________________
The past is the foundation of the future.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group