Wheal Jane unused mine contaminated water levels down

  • 29 November 2012
  • From the section Cornwall
An archive picture of Wheal Jane
Image caption An additional pump was brought in by the fire service to help reduce the rising water levels

Contaminated water levels at a flooded disused mine in mid Cornwall have improved, the Environment Agency has said.

It was feared untreated water from Wheal Jane, near Baldhu, could spill into a nearby river if levels continued to rise following the heavy rain.

An additional pump lowered into the mine by the fire service has helped reduce the water levels.

The agency said it would continue to monitor the volume and water quality.

On Wednesday evening seven pumps at Wheal Jane were working at "full capacity" following the heavy rain, yet water levels were continuing to rise.

The Environment Agency said it was concerned if levels had continued to rise faster than pumps could abstract, untreated water could enter the Carnon river.

The water from Wheal Jane mine is contaminated with a range of metals which, untreated, could impact on shellfish and other ecology in the Fal Estuary.

Contaminated water has been abstracted and treated from the mine since 1992 following an drainage burst which caused visible pollution from mine water coloured orange by the high iron content.

As a result of the burst, a government funded treatment plant was commissioned to prevent any future impact on the estuary.

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