Drilled by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1961, the Old Forge Bore Hole is the biggest abandoned mine drainage outfall in the Northern Field. At 400 feet deep, and 3 ½ feet in diameter, the Old Forge Bore Hole drains an estimated 100-150 million gallons of abandoned mine water every day into the Lackawanna River. Purposely set in the lowest area of the Keyser Valley (Old Forge), the bore hole relieves a mine pool with the surface area of Lake Wallenpaupack. Although detrimental to the aquatic life of the Lackawanna, without the bore hole this water would seep into basements of low elevation houses and businesses from Blakley to Duryea.
The sedimentary effects of the Old Forge Bore Hole can be seen looking north from the Fort Jenkins Bridge in Pittston at the east side of the Susquehanna River. Stained orange primarily with iron and sulfur, there has been talk of a mineral harvesting plant on the Lackawanna River just south of the bore hole to rid the water systems of this acidic burden. This would also generate revenue from the minerals harvested, but nothing has taken affect yet.
Our photos of the bore hole outfall in the early 2000s.
Lackawanna River Corridor Association. lrca.org/pages/amdaml/pages/amdoldforgeborehole.htm
US Geological Survey. pa.water.usgs.gov/fact_sheet_96/fs-038-96.html 1997
Susquehanna River Basin Hydrologic Observing System. Lackawanna River Watershed: An American Heritage River. http://www.srbhos.psu.edu/research_themes/default.asp
Sylvester, Joe. Scientist Sees Revenue in River Pollution. Timestribune.com. 2006