The Potential for Developing Mine Cavity Water for Water Supplies: Institutional and Water Quality Issues
Many communities in the coalfield counties of southwest Virginia lack adequate and safe water supplies. The ability to develop affordable local water sources by using small water treatment plants is an attractive option to a small community and the local government. Under the right circumstances, water stored in mine cavities and discharged freely through the portals can be a potential water source for a small community where other sources of water are scarce or not of acceptable quality. Contrary to the general perception, not all mines produce acid drainage and many mines discharge water of acceptable quality that can be developed for drinking water supplies by using appropriate treatment techniques.