An innovative treatment works using the natural environment to clean metal-rich water from an abandoned mine was opened by Water Minister Rory Stewart in Cumbria last week.
Set in the Cumbrian hills near Keswick, the Force Crag mine water treatment scheme is now up and running.
The scheme will clean up a 6 mile stretch of river, preventing up to a tonne of metals, including zinc, cadmium and lead, from entering Bassenthwaite Lake each year.
The scheme will contribute up to £4.9 million in environmental benefits to Keswick’s water and wildlife while boosting tourism and the local economy.
Funded by Defra, the scheme is part of the Government’s £8.5 million investment in low-cost solutions to tackle water pollution caused by abandoned metal mines that pollute over 1000 miles of rivers in England.
The concept was developed by Dr Adam Jarvis and his team at Newcastle University and delivered by the Coal Authority in partnership with the Environment Agency, the National Trust, the Lake District National Park Authority and others.