The Montour Run Watershed Association (MRWA) protects and remediates the 37-square-mile Montour Run watershed in western Allegheny County. In coordination with citizens’ groups, businesses, local governmental agencies, elected officials, and the general public, the group works to improve water quality. Over the course of its existence, MRWA has successfully conducted watershed assessments, public outreach and education projects, and stream improvements in partnership with public and private landowners.
The design and construction of four abandoned mine drainage (AMD) treatment systems has played a critical role in these efforts. Environmental Stewardship Fund grants covered a significant portion of the costs to build these systems, which have already resulted in the improved health of nearly 10 miles of stream by removing a combined 50 tons of acidity and metals annually.
The Boggs Road system, sited on private property in Findlay Township, is a five-bay passive treatment system that is removing 3.5 tons per year of iron and is directly improving 2.5 miles of tributary stream as a result. Located on property belonging to Pittsburgh International Airport, the Clinton Road and North Fork Montour Run systems are healing Enlow Run, a tributary stream, and sections of Montour Run. The McCaslin Road system protects Enlow Run, preventing 14,000 pounds of acid and 2,000 pounds of aluminum from entering the streams each year. MRWA partnered with Findlay Township Public Works to situate the buried treatment system within the maintenance yard and still allow use of the property for municipal needs.