Operation, Maintenance and Repair (OM&R)

OK, the Treatment System is installed!  What’s next?  On to the next discharge!  Wait, who’s gonna maintain this one?

Diversion Wells in the Upper Swatara Creek Watershed

This term refers to the continued operation, maintenance and repair (sometimes replacement) of an AMD Treatment System.  Passive treatment systems are typically designed for less day-to-day maintenance than active treatment systems.  This doesn’t mean once it’s installed it will work perfectly for 15 to 20 years!

There are many watershed group members out there volunteering their time to turn valves, monitor chemistry, patch berms, plant wetland plants, trap rodents, repair fences, maintain roads, give tours and just keep a watchful eye on their beloved AMD Treatment Systems.  There are 300 some systems in Pennsylvania alone that are in all states of repair and function.  OM&R is often left up to the landowner or a local community group after the capital has been spent to install the system.

There have been many resourceful ways to deal with this burden.  Some groups have setup trust funds and have detailed maintenance manuals and some rely on consultants or the government to figure things out.  Regardless of the way it is handled, OM&R is an intrinsic part of a treatment system and a concern for those groups who build them.

EPCAMR helps to maintain Datashed.org, a free statewide AMD Treatment System database that provides analysis, a place to store files and mapping online as well as a resource for OM&R needs of the AMD Treatment Community in PA.  Originally this database was known as the Appalachian Region AMD Treatment System Database and maintained by the Office of Surface Mining.  This database was an attempt to keep track of the existing systems and add new treatment systems to the database so that they may be considered for current and future Operation, Maintenance and Replacement (OM&R) funding.  EPCAMR turned this database into a GIS layer and supplied it to Datashed when OSM ceased updating the database in 2008.  If your treatment system is not in the database, please let us know!  We can help get your group setup with a free account to add systems and water quality results to the site.

EPCAMR is working in concert with the Western PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (WPCAMR) on a Technical Assistance Program to provide funding for emergency repairs for treatment systems. Please visit WPCAMR’s Quick Response for Funding Emergency Repairs for more information.

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