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All hands to the pumps at Wheal Jane as mine water levels rise
4:00pm Tuesday 11th February 2014 in News
A Cornwall Fire and Rescue high capacity pump has been drafted to help at Wheal Jane Mine near Baldhu as water levels rise.
For the second time in 2014 the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service have joined forces with the Coal Authority as waters rise in the disused mine inbetween Falmouth and Truro
A spokesman said that water is entering the underground complex of the mine at a faster rate than the Wheal Jane Minewater Treatment sites eight massive pumps can manage.
Adding; "Today Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service installed one of their high capacity emergency pumps at the site to provide even more pumping ability. Normally the treatment works manages 180 litres of mine water per second, during the present situation over three times this volume of water is being taken through the plant taking it to its maximum processing ability.
"The Coal Authority is coordinating efforts with the Environment Agency, Department for Environment and Rural Affairs, Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies and the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service to combine resources to manage the situation."
Wheal Jane, a former mineral and metal mine, closed in 1991 and pumping essential to the mining operation stopped. The following year contaminated water from the mine entered the Carnon River and the Fal Estuary leading the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to fund a specialist processing plant to remove contaminates from the emerging minewater.
Operated by Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies on behalf of the Coal Authority since 2011, contaminated water is abstracted from the mine, treated, and then discharged into the river system in a "cleaned state".
Aerial photograph of the mouth of Restronguet Creek and Carrick Roads taken during the Wheal Jane incident