The Pierce Run Dam, constructed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), creates a water storage basin that helps treat the adjacent Pierce Run Stream for acid mine drainage. Water was not accumulating in the basin on a long-term basis. It was suspected that this was due to an underlying permeable unconsolidated layer that was allowing groundwater to flow under the dam.
B&N teamed with King Environmental Group, Bowser Morner, and Testing, Engineers & Consultants, Inc. to evaluate improvement plans and specifications prepared by ODNR and design and implement a solution.
B&N completed a hydrogeological investigation of the subsurface soils directly upgradient of the dam and produced a geologic cross section that delineated the suspect permeable unconsolidated layer. The team also identified potential issues with the original design and suggested alternative approaches to increase surface water and groundwater retention.
The team’s recommendations that were incorporated into the final design included:
Two weeks after the improvements were completed the upstream storage basin was full. The basin continues to retain the water used for long-term treatment of acid mine drainage.