GLADDEN (Millers Run)

Primary discharge in lower watershed
  60% of Fe (iron) loading 
  70% of acidity loading
Devastates 3 miles of Millers Run
Chartiers is degraded downstream of Millers inflow
Restoration of Millers Run and Chartiers Creek requires remediation of Gladden discharge:
Substantially lessen inflows of clean water to deep mine - 
Fishing Run Growing Greener Proposal
Develop plans for passive treatment
  discharge chemistry well suited for reliable passive treatment
  challenge is finding sufficient land area
  current focus of Project efforts


Chartiers Creek above Millers Run Millers Run above Gladden discharge

The Problem: Located in South Fayette and west along Rt 50 from the Bridgeville I79 ramp, the Gladden discharge comes from a steep ravine at the junction of RT50/Millers Run Rd, and after 200 feet enters Miller Run Creek. With the second highest discharge flow (1430 gpm), it degrades 4 miles of Millers Run before it enters Charters Creek just upstream of the Presto-Sygan discharge. It has the highest iron and second highest manganese content, and with its high flow accounts for the highest acid and iron loading (half of all of discharges combined).

Operation Scarlift data is still similar to current measures for flow and iron concentrations, except for acidity which has declined in the last 30 years. A large portion of the mine maps are non-detailed, so additional investigation is needed. The recharge area is about 1,600 acres with an average flow of .89 gpm/acre. The mine drainage originates at 1020 and discharges at 900 elevation. 

Much of the site terrain was modified during construction of the four-lane portion of Rt 50 after mine maps were drafted. There is probably a pool at an elevation that is the same as the discharge, but may only be about 10 acres. Another pool may exist about 1.4 miles northwest of the discharge and could be 270 acres. The high drainage area and flow may be a result of being less urbanized with more infiltration or could be a result of rainfall and loss of stream into the mine. This potential stream loss should be investigated. 

Gladden discharge
Millers Run below Gladden discharge
Chartiers Creek at Millers Run.  The orange AMD plume is very visible.

The Gladden discharge, with an average flow rate of 1500 gpm, had a flow rate during the wet weather of summer and autumn of 2004 of greater than 5000 gpm.  High flows also blew out the weir. Since the discharge was larger than expected for the size of the abandoned mine contributing to it, this study investigated the potential loss of stream flows into the mine that feeds the Gladden discharge.

Fishing Run is a tributary of Millers Run, with a drainage area of 1600 acres.  Most of Fishing Run's flow enters an abandoned mine opening 1 1/3 mile upstream from its confluence with Millers Run and contributes significantly to the Gladden discharge.  This condition may have existed since the 1930's when the Maud Mine was abandoned.  High walls and abandoned mining related structures also exist at this site.  It has been estimated that over 2000 gpm flows into the mine during wet weather conditions and contributes 30 to 50% of the volume to the pollution emanating from the Gladden discharge.  

The Solution:  Restore Fishing Run to or near its historical channel. Fishing Run currently flows into a box culvert and through approximately 500 feet of 24" pipe, discharges to the surface and flows for approximately 300 feet, and disappears into an abandoned mine opening. Restoration would be performed in such manner as to restore approximately 1,100 feet of Fishing Run and correct existing erosion problems as well as preventing future erosion problems along the channel. 

Reduce pollution to Millers Run. Millers Run is presently polluted by mine drainage and devoid of aquatic life in the four-mile stretch of Millers Run that is downstream from the Gladden Discharge. In addition, the Gladden Discharge site is not considered to be large enough to build an adequate passive treatment system sufficient to treat the entire discharge. Reduction of inflow from Fishing Run into the abandoned mine would eliminate a significant portion of the discharge and the pollution caused by the Gladden Discharge to Millers Run.

Eliminate dangerous highwalls. Regrading of the site to re-establish Fishing Run to or near its historical channel would provide sufficient fill to eliminate dangerous highwall conditions in the area where it resurfaces and enters the abandoned mine workings. Demolition of abandoned mine structures in this area would also be performed. 

Monitor the Gladden Discharge. The quality and quantity of the Gladden Discharge and Fishing Run would be monitored before and after restoration of Fishing Run to provide documentation of the benefit of removing the inflow of Fishing Run from the abandoned mine and for possible use in the future design of a Gladden treatment system. 

Fishing Run Project

Proposal submitted March 2005 to 
PADEP Growing Greener Program by South Fayette Conservation Group 
Funded 2005 by Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation
Permitting and construction 2006/07 
Eliminate piped stream; rebuild stream channel 
Stabilize fill to prevent further erosion 
Eliminate highwalls, seal mine entrance, remove dangerous mine buildings
Monitor effect on Gladden Discharge flow
Gladden Passive Treatment Project
project, above - close-up, phase I, below:
Gladden Passive Treatment Project - Close-up of Phase I

Gladden Passive Treatment Project

Highest priority project
Conceptual Design assumes that Fishing Run project decreases flow 1/3 to 933 gpm (average)
Neutralize Acidity


16,500 tons limestone aggregate in anoxic limestone drain
Precipitate 80% of Fe
  3.3 acres of settling ponds
Polish water
  3..6 acres of constructed wetlands