n Water&Sanitation Africa - Coal mine plans to get wetland flowing again

Volume 15 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1990-8857


According to Dr Simon Lorentz, principal hydrologist, SRK Consulting, the mine requested advice on remediating a wetland that had dried out – mainly due to a large trench previously excavated through the wetland. “Once you dig a ditch in a wetland, the water drains into that space and quickly flows away. This drops the wetland’s water table and the ground dries out,” explains Lorentz. He notes that wetlands are very sensitive to water levels, requiring that water percolates right through to the surface level. Without sufficient moisture in the peat soil of this wetland area, the ground has begun to burn frequently. While this is possibly due to the veld fires in the area, the ground may also spontaneously combust due to its high content of hydrocarbons.

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