News story

Minister opens Force Crag metal mine water treatment scheme

An innovative treatment works using the natural environment to clean metal-rich water from an abandoned mine was recently opened by Water Minister Rory Stewart in Cumbria.

Water Minister Rory Stewart

Water Minister Rory Stewart officially opens Force Crag metal mine water treatment scheme

Set in the Cumbrian hills near Keswick, the Force Crag mine water treatment 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 has been carefully designed to be consistent with the beautiful surroundings and address this major source of metal pollution. We are delighted with its excellent performance in removing in excess of 95% of the metals from the mine water.

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.

The Force Crag Mine was worked for zinc, lead and barytes from 1835 until 1991 and was the last working mine in the Lake District.

Read the press release about the official opening of the scheme.

Discover more about Force Crag mine water treatment scheme.

Published 25 November 2015