|Temperature||Acidity||Dissolved Oxygen (DO)||pH||Aluminum|
|Flow||Alkalinity||Total Dissolved Solids (Conductivity)||Iron||Manganese|
Some information compiled using
"Impacts of Mine Drainage on Aquatic Life, Water Uses, and Man-made Structures"
Aluminum is one of the most abundant elements in the earth's crust and occurs
in many rocks and ores, but never as a pure metal. Aluminum combines with
organic and inorganic ions and can be found in several forms. Aluminum can
change form but it cannot be destroyed. Under natural, pristine
conditions, aluminum rarely occurs in water at concentrations greater than a few
tenths of a milligram per liter.
Waters with high concentrations of aluminum, often seen flowing bright white, are toxic to aquatic life due to lowered pH levels. Increased aluminum concentrations can be related to abandoned mine discharges, acid precipitation and the natural breakdown of clays. When aluminum precipitates (drops) out it coats channel rocks, eventually destroying the streams ecosystem. Aluminum precipitate can be directly toxic to fish and macroinvertebrates. Aluminum affects fish by accumulating on their
gills thereby affecting their breathing. At a combined pH of less than 5.5 and a dissolved aluminum concentration greater than 0.5 mg/L, almost all fish and macros will be eliminated. Of the three major metals found in AMD, aluminum has the most severe effect on aquatic life.
Aluminum samples are taken using standard procedures and analyzed in a lab. Results are recorded in mg/L and the State Drinking Water Limit is .2 mg/L.