Schuylkill River Watershed

The headwaters of the Schuylkill River are located in the serene mountain valleys of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. An area rich in scenic beauty and coal mining history, the Little Schuylkill and Upper Schuylkill Rivers are designated coldwater fisheries and the Schuylkill main stem is a State Scenic River at the confluence of these two tributary waterways.

Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) is the primary cause of pollution in the Schuylkill River headwaters and the biggest source of metals downstream. AMD is created deep below the ground in abandoned mines where streams, groundwater, and stormwater fill tunnels that were once kept dry by active pumping operations. Water and oxygen react with lingering iron sulfide (pyrite) producing metal-laden and sometimes highly acidic discharges that exit the tunnels in telltale orange and silver plumes, easily visible in these regional surface waters (excerpt from the Schuylkill Action Network “AMD Overview” document).

For a list of projects that have been completed, please see the Schuylkill Headwaters Association and Schuylkill Action Network website pages.

Reports on the Watershed:

Little Schuylkill Operation SCARLIFT Report

TMDL Reports:

Mill Creek Tributary to the Schuylkill River TMDL

Little Schuylkill River Watershed TMDL

Pine Creek Tributary to the Schuylkill River TMDL

Upper Schuylkill River TMDL

West Branch of the Schuylkill River TMDL


Photos from the Watershed:

GorillaCoalAshReclamationPanoramic.JPG GorillaPit.jpg

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