Surface mining for coal in Illinois has affected runoff from the mined areas and altered water quality in the streams. Average annual sulfate loads in streams are 3,000-4,000 tons per square mile of mined land in the Big Muddy and Saline River basins in southern Illinois. Relatively high concentrations of dissolved aluminum, arsenic, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc are commonly associated with concentrations of sulfate greater than about 2,000 milligrams per liter.
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USGS Numbered Series
Some chemical characteristics of mine drainage in Illinois