man’s got to do what a man’s got to do and clean up the
town - or, in this case, the river running through the town!
Scientists at the University of Teesside, in northeast England,
are finding new ways to deal with polluted mine water that has
become such a problem in this part of the UK, once one of the major
iron and steel producing regions of the world.
Skinningrove used to be home to one of 86 iron ore mines in the
region. The mine closed in 1958 – but a few years later it
started to leech ochre – ferric hydroxide – into local
waterways. It forms as rust, causing the river to run red,
colouring the stream bed and smothering wildlife.
The ochre can be trapped in filters, but how do you dispose of
it?! The University’s Clean Environment Management Centre,
(CLEMANCE) have found a way of extracting the ochre from the filter
traps and are, under their industrial symbiosis programme, that
takes the view that “one man’s waste is another
man’s raw material”, recycling the sludge.
Initially it’s being used as a raw material in concrete
manufacture – but they’re also investigating its use in
the manufacture of discs and tapes for recording materials and as a
glaze in pottery manufacture; creating a unique style of local art
from what was a legacy of industrial pollution.
Water pollution from disused mines is a world-wide problem. Now
there’s a new research team in town – and they’re
looking to clean up big time!!
- Graphic map showing location of Skinningrove and surrounding
- GVs Skinningrove village
- GVs University of Teesside
- GVs Red River
- GVs Water testing on location and in the laboratory
- Examples of pottery made with ochre stained glaze
- Dr Richard Lord, Bio-Mediation Programme Manager, Clean
Environment Management Centre (Clemance), University of
- Christine Parry, Project Manager, Industrial Symbiosis Programme,
University of Teesside
- Tom Evans, Environmental Officer Skinningrove Area, Loftus