Waterworks Conservation Area
768 Waterworks Rd., Indiana, PA 15701
40o 35' 55.343" N 79o 7' 28.008" W
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The Waterworks Conservation Area is a 10-acre site located adjacent to Two Lick Creek, approximately 3 miles south of Indiana, Pennsylvania. The site was donated to Indiana County by Consol Energy.
The site was developed in cooperation with the Indiana County Conservation District, with major funding support from the PA Department of Environmental Protection, the PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources and community partners. Students from a planning design class at Indiana University of PA (IUP), under the direction of Dr. Whit Watts, completed a site plan for the Waterworks Conservation Area in February 2008.
The Waterworks Conservation Area combines recreational opportunities with an environmental remediation project. These remediation efforts include an acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment facility and the construction of an artificial wetland.
The site is located on a portion of the former Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company Lucerne 3A deep mine. As a consequence of previous mining, there is an acidic mine
discharge (stream) flowing into Two Lick Creek.
Shortly after World War II the mine was opened as a link between the Upper Freeport deep mine operations south of Two Lick Creek and the newer mines to the North. Physically the link was accomplished by a coal car trestle linking both sides of the creek. This was an active mine site for about 20 years. Today, the trestle abutments and piers are still prominent site features.
The AMD discharge has a flow rate of 100 gallons per minute and a pH of 2.7. To treat this flow, a 75-ton lime dosing silo has been installed over the mine discharge. Powered by water, premeasured amounts of hydrated lime are released into the stream, which will raise the pH of the water and help restore it to natural conditions.
The artificial wetland was constructed as part of the Clean Water Act’s “no net loss” clause. Because of the loss of wetlands due to the expansion of Indiana County’s Jimmy Stewart Airport, artificial wetlands had to be created at another location. The Waterworks Conservation Area was selected as one of the remediation sites.
For more in-depth information about the Waterworks Conservation Area please read the Waterworks Conservation Area Brochure (PDF).
Paddling Two Lick Creek is a great way to get outdoors and see a pretty part of Indiana County. From the put-in at the Waterworks to the take-out at near Saylor Park, paddlers will travel a bit over 12 river miles (with one portage).
Do NOT paddle Two Lick Creek when the water level is too low or too high. A good rule of thumb for Two Lick is to paddle when the creek is between 2.6 and 4.5 feet on the monitoring gauge at Graceton, PA. A great resource for finding water levels for streams in western PA. is to use the "Canoeable Streams in Western Pennsylvania" website. (Look for "page" 176 on the left side of the table to find information related to Two Lick Creek.)
If you plan on paddling Two Lick Creek downstream of Homer City be aware that there is a low-head feeder dam on Two Lick Creek near the Homer City Power Plant. The dam is located approximately 0.7 mi downstream from Neal Rd. There is an old railroad bridge approximately 0.1 mi before the dam.
The area downstream of this old railroad bridge is designated as an exclusion zone - no boating permitted.
No persons are permitted to paddle beyond the old railroad bridge located approximately 0.1 mi. upstream of the the Homer City Power Plant.
Persons paddling beyond this bridge are in violation of PA Fish & Boat Commission regulations and will be subject to fines and prosecution.
Dam coordinates: 40o 30' 39.382" N and 79o 10' 57.588" W
The Waterworks Conservation Area includes:
- Canoe and kayak launch*
- Fishing access to Two Lick Creek
- Trail circuit around wetlands
- Pavilion (capacity of 40 people) available on a first-come first-serve basis
- Public restroom and parking area
Note: An automatic entrance gate opens and closes at the site each day. Park hours are from 7 am to sunset.
A directional map is available for printing. Writen directions are not yet available.
A site map (PDF) of the Waterworks is available.
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