Use and Water Quality Remediation of Acidic Coal Pit Lakes by Adjacent Aquaculture

Clint McCullough (MiWER), Naresh Radhakrishnan (MiWER), Mark Lund (MiWER), Xanti Larrañaga, (MiWER), Digby Short (Premier Coal Pty Ltd)

Can a nearby aquaculture discharge be used to both remediate an acidic pit lake and also to provide a sustainable source of water for a post-mining industry?

The aim of this competitively-funded research programme is to examine how a coal mine pit lake could supply feed water and accept waste discharge from a commercial scale aquaculture venture as part of a sustainable post-mining community without significant deterioration in the lake environment e.g., water quality. This project also intends to answer whether water quality in coal mine pit lakes would be improved by accepting wastewater from a commercial scale aquaculture venture through simulation of microbial remediative processes previously inhibited by low nutrient concentrations. Specific objectives of this study therefore will determine:

  • The capacity of a coal mine pit lake to accept aquaculture waste discharges without detrimental impacts to pit lake water quality or wildlife.
  • How improvement of water quality and wildlife values might occur through aquaculture waste discharges remediating key pit lake water quality issues such as acidity by addressing insufficient nutrient concentrations.

 

Photo: The marron grow-out ponds adjacent to Collie pit lake WO3.


Photo: An adult marron crayfish from Collie.

Outputs

Kumar, R. N.; McCullough, C. D. & Lund, M. A. (2011). Use and water quality remediation of acidic coal pit lakes by adjacent aquaculture. Report number 2011-10. Mine Water Environment Research Centre/Centre for Ecosystem Management, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia. 104pp. Unpublished report to Australian Coal Association Research Programme (ACARP).

Kumar, N. R.; McCullough, C. D.; Lund, M. A. & Larranãga, S. A. (2011). Evaluating the factors limiting algal biomass in acidic pit lakes of the Collie Lake District, Western Australia. Proceedings of the International Mine Water Association (IMWA) Congress. Aachen, Germany. 523-527pp.