Located just east of Clymer, PA on the north side of PA Route 403, the Richards system was originally constructed in 1999 then was rebuilt in 2020-21. Richards treats approximately 300 gallons per minute of acid mine drainage from the abandoned Egypt deep mine, which is located on the opposite side of Route 403 and is piped under the highway to the system. The treated water discharges to Two Lick Creek, a major subwatershed of Blacklick Creek.
The original Richards systems was funded through a PA DEP Growing Greener grant and Reclamation in Lieu of Civil Penalty money. It was constructed as three separate systems into which the discharge flow was split.
The current system consists of a splitter which distributes the water into three vertical flow ponds (VFPs) containing a mixture of compost and limestone. The VFPs discharge into two wetlands which provide additional settling time for pollutants before the water discharges to the stream. Two of the VFPs share a wetland, while the third discharges to its own wetland. The current system was designed and built by BioMost, Inc. of Mars, PA. Funding for the system rebuild came from three sources: $528,024 from the PA DEP Grower Greener Program, $100,000 from the US Office of Surface Mining Watershed Cooperative Program, and $18,000.00 from the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds. Additional in-kind funding was provided by BioMost, Inc. and Stream Restoration, Inc. (SRI). SRI also helped in obtaining the Growing Greener funding.
Water samples are collected on a quarterly basis and the results are posted on the Datashed website at www.datashed.org.