The Watershed

The Blacklick Creek Watershed is located in Indiana and Cambria Counties in southwest Pennsylvania and covers approximately 420 square miles of agricultural land and forested land.  Many of the streams are severally impacted by siltation from agricultural land, discharges from abandoned underground coal mines, and run-off from abandoned mine lands.  The stream water quality has improved during the last several years and there are a number of streams that are supporting breeding Wild Brook Trout and Wild Brown Trout populations.  Two active treatment plants and several passive treatment systems are treating the abandoned mine discharges.  The amount of acidity, iron and aluminum discharged into the streams has decreased and many of the large refuse piles in abandoned mine lands have been reclaimed.   For the last several years, the Blacklick Creek Water Association (BCWA) has been pursuing the construction of an active treatment plant built in the Blacklick Creek watershed.  Currently, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is designing a plant to be built in the vicinity of Vintondale, where three of the largest mine discharges will be treated, resulting in the restoration of 25 miles of stream from Vintondale to the village of Blacklick.