Oct 03, 2013

Mining a Storm Water Solution

Utah mine adds storm water treatment system during parking lot renovation

Utah mine adds storm water treatment system during parking lot renovation

Throughout its history, the Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah has produced more copper than any other mine—more than 19 million tons.

In addition to producing about 300,000 tons of copper a year, the Bingham Canyon Mine also produces approximately 400,000 ounces of gold, 4 million ounces of silver, 30 million pounds of molybdenum and 1 million tons of sulfuric acid annually. The mine is the largest man-made excavation on earth. It measures 2.75 miles across at the top and three-quarters of a mile deep.

Bingham Canyon Mine is working to expand its operations in order to access an additional 700 million tons of ore. Part of the expansion has included building a new employee parking lot to improve safety and reduce vehicle emissions from traffic in and out of the mine area. Providing 900 parking stalls, the new lot will offer shuttle buses to transport employees to their destinations.

Forsgren Associates specified Contech’s CDS 5640 hydrodynamic separator to treat storm water before discharge into an onsite retention pond that allows water to slowly percolate into the soil. The patented system relies on water hydraulics, gravity and a screen configuration to remove debris from runoff. It effectively screens, separates and traps debris, sediment and oil from storm water runoff, and it is an ideal system to meet trash total maximum daily load requirements. The system has no moving parts and requires little maintenance.

“The CDS 5640 was selected due to its single-manhole construction, ability to treat all of the two-year storm without bypass and pass the 100-year storm without exceeding the overall capacity of the CDS unit,” said David Waldren, senior civil engineering manager with Forsgren. “The CDS unit provides high-quality hydrodynamic cleaning of the storm water, leaving the 18-acre parking area prior to the water flowing to a retention pond with percolation into the ground.”