Testing the Waters
Testing the Waters, a water treatment park in Vintondale Pennsylvania designed to provide a new answer for the usually engineered solution for passive treatment of acid mine drainage. Acid mine drainage is created by a rainwater coming in contact with abandoned coal mines. It flows into all the streams and rivers, turning them a bright orange. The water treatment park changes the pH of the discharge and allows the heavy metals to dissipate in a series of passive treatment ponds. This design tells the story of the treatment and the history of coal mining on the site. In the Litmus Garden, the colors of the fall foliage and bands of wildflowers reflect the changing condition of the water. The huge scale of the mining operation is recalled with raised footprints of each mine building, planted in red twigged shrubs throughout the wetland areas.
Collaboration with with Julie Bargmann, landscape designer, Bob Deason, hydrogeologist, and the staff of Acid Mine Drainage and Art, directed by T. Allan Comp.