CHICAGO — Veolia Water commissioned and began operational management of the CONSOL Energy Inc. Northern West Virginia Water Treatment Facility near Mannington, W.V. The Zero Liquid Waste (ZLW) facility designed and built by Veolia will treat 3,500 gallons per minute of mine drainage. By using a ZLW process, water of low quality is extracted and treated, and clean water is returned to the ecosystem, improving the water balance and condition of the Monongahela River watershed.
Veolia will provide operational management of the facility for the next 10 years, guaranteeing CONSOL continual performance and optimization of the system. The ZLW treatment concept removes contaminants in the mine water and reduces them to solid salts. The process also uses a number of sustainable practices and technology applications, reducing the carbon and energy footprint of the treatment process.
This environmentally sustainable design and construction approach was developed to help CONSOL meet discharge standards for chlorides in West Virginia's waterways. The facility will treat water from CONSOL's Blacksville #2, Loveridge, and Robinson Run mining operations.
"In partnering with Veolia on this first-of-its-kind in scale and scope project, we were able to bring the water treatment plant online on time, under budget, and in full compliance with our permits," commented Katharine Fredriksen, senior vice president environmental strategy and regulatory affairs. "This demonstrates the success of partnering with a company that shares our commitment to our core values of Safety, Compliance, and Continuous Improvement."
To quantify the benefits of the water treatment facility to the Monongahela River, Veolia conducted a Water Impact Index (WIIX) evaluation. Developed by Veolia, the WIIX measures not only water volume, but the level of stress upon local water resources, overall water quality, and indirect water impacts from chemicals and electricity. Measuring all these factors, the WIIX calculates the water impact of the new treatment facility will be 1.3 billion gallons of high-quality water per year returned to the Monongahela River basin, validating a positive environmental impact by the water treatment facility.
"Veolia is continually working to develop sustainable solutions to meet the needs of our industrial customers while benefitting the environment," said Kirk Schwab, general manager of Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies' Pittsburgh office that designed and built the facility. "We are pleased to deliver this state-of-the-art project for CONSOL and believe that it will be the benchmark for mine water treatment in the Appalachian region for years to come."