The U.S. Department of Interior Office of Surface Mining contacted Rain for Rent to assist in designing a temporary water supply for a coal mine fire that had been burning continuously for two years. The only water source was a reservoir 1.4 miles away.
The fire started as a result of flames from a burning automobile which spread to a coal refuse pile and then to veins of coal within the mine. The fire prevented the mining of coal and the smoke and debris from the smoldering charcoal presented health hazards to the nearby communities.
It was recommended that 1,200 GPM of water would be necessary to quench 1,000 °F hot spots as a contractor created a 150-foot trench around the entire affected area to prevent the fire from spreading.
Rain for Rent’s water supply system consisted of 11,300-feet of fused 8-inch HDPE pipe and four 8-inch HH150 Stainless Steel pumps. Two pumps were staged at the reservoir. Two additional pumps were placed 9,000-feet down the line. Anticipating freezing weather, the pipeline was winterized by installing 1-inch taps at low points for manual draining. An 8-inch flow meter was used to monitor the reservoir levels.
The water supplied two water cannons that shot the water into the trench where it would seep into the ground to the smoldering coal.
The system remained in place for approximately four months until the fire was extinguished, and was kept for six additional weeks in case of future flare-ups.
Mine benefits with forced evaporation system
6 billion gallons removed from flooded mine