John F Hunt Water Tech presents a short educational video, which gives an overview of metal rich waters, their sources, environmental impacts and treatment.
Metal rich waters can be created by the weathering of natural soils, industrial operations or the mining of coal and metal ores. Release of metal rich waters into the aquatic environment causes the metals to sink, coating the bed of the waterway in a metal rich sludge. This reduces the bio-diversity of the water way, killing benthic invertebrates, fish eggs and plants.
A small scale jar test illustrates the three stages in the treatment of metal rich waters:
– Stage 1: Precipitation of the metals:
– Stage 2: Separation of the metal rich flocs from the water phase;
– Stage 3: Sludge Dewatering.
Where possible, options that enable the recycling of the metal rich sludge need to be explored enabling the sludge to enter the circular economy.
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