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What is Datashed? Datashed is a free website containing a GIS-enabled, project-based, database that was designed as a website so that anyone with an internet connection can use this valuable tool.  Datashed was developed to help organizations such as watershed/conservation groups, nonprofits, and governmental agencies manage the restoration of watersheds that are impacted by abandoned mines.  Datashed has a strong emphasis on managing the project information, water quality data and maintenance of passive treatment systems that are treating acid mine drainage.  Datashed can also be used to track information related to active (chemical) treatment systems, land reclamation projects, stream monitoring, watershed assessment and restoration plans, etc.  Check out "About Datashed" to learn more about Datashed's purpose, history and features.

What is Acid Mine Drainage? Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) also sometimes referred to as Abandoned Mine Drainage and other names (such as coal mine drainage, mine influenced water, etc)  is water that has become polluted from being in contact with land that has been mined.  This contact can be from underground mines, unreclaimed and reclaimed surface (strip) mines, coal refuse piles,  spoil piles, mining pits, etc.  The water quality of AMD is quite variable. The water is often acidic (but not always), and often has a depressed (low) pH and higher concentrations of metals such as iron, aluminum, and manganese along with other compounds such as sulfate.  However, sometimes the AMD can be mildly polluted.  AMD is typically caused by the weathering (breakdown) of certain minerals within the material being mined (such as coal or metal ore) or surrounding rock layers (such as shale or sandstone).  The minerals that actually cause the AMD are often metal sulfides.  When these sulfide minerals become exposed to oxygen, water, and/or certain microorganisms the minerals break down into metals and acid.  You can learn more about Acid Mine Drainage here.

What are passive treatment systems? Passive treatment systems are a more environmentally-friendly method (compared to traditional chemical based systems)  to treat water that uses natural materials such as limestone, compost, plants, and bacteria in different combinations to encourage naturally-occurring chemical, physical, and biological processes to take place.  Typically, passive treatment does not use electricity, although some have been known to utilize solar and water powered technologies. 

Where can I learn more about Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) and passive treatment?  You can learn more about AMD and passive treatment at the Stream Restoration Incorporated website which also includes a listing of Additional Resources for further exploration.

Do I need an account or password to look at the information on Datashed? No. An account and password is not needed to view any project related information, documents, maps, water quality data, etc. The only need to have an account and password with Datashed is if you wish to have the ability to create projects, edit projects, and to upload project related information such as photos, documents, and water quality data.

How do I get an account for Datashed?  You can sign up for a free account by registering here.

Is there any fee to use Datashed? No.  Datashed is free to use for all users.  Stream Restoration Incorporated, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is able to provide Datashed at no cost to users due to grants, donations, and in-kind services of project partners.

Where does the data come from? Who collects it? How does it get on the website?  The data on Datashed comes from a variety of sources.  Most of the data has been collected by watershed groups, nonprofits, and governmental agencies as part of their efforts to monitor and restore streams impacted by AMD.  The data has been either uploaded by Stream Restoration Incorporated or Datashed members.

Who should sign up for a Datashed account?  Anyone who is directly involved in managing watershed restoration projects and wants/needs to create new projects, edit projects, upload documents, photos, water quality data, etc.  Common users include people from watershed groups, conservation districts, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, consultants, universities, etc.

Why should I store my data and project information on Datashed?  There are many good reasons to use Datashed to store data and other project information. 

  1. Datashed is an easy to use database that is available for free.  There is no software to purchase. 
  2. You do not need to design your own complex database or GIS system from scratch.
  3. Datashed provides a place to store your data and information so everyone in your group can access and see your project information anytime they wish instead of the information being stored in someone's house or home computer. 
  4. You can use Datashed as part of your education and outreach efforts to show case your projects.  This can be beneficial for people in the community to know what is going on and also an easy way for those organizations that provide you funds to see how their money was spent. 
  5. Datashed provides an archive of important project information that will be available for others in the future.  Items like design drawings, Operation & Maintenance plans,  and final reports will be important pieces of information when maintenance is needed or it is time to rebuild the treatment system. 
  6. By storing water quality data and important project information, Datashed can be a valuable source of information for students and researchers who are studying acid mine drainage and passive treatment.  Their research may help to improve our understanding of the science and improve designs, and perhaps develop new technologies.  This information can also be important for engineers who design the treatment systems so that people can learn, not make the same mistakes, and improve.
  7.  Datashed has a backup system. We maintain 7 daily, 12 weekly, and 12 monthly backups that are housed in a separate virtual server independent of the Datashed website. 

How can I learn how to use Datashed? There are written tutorials within the help section that explain how to complete typical tasks.  Video tutorials are also available on Stream Restoration Incorporated YouTube channel.  The video tutorials that currently exist were developed for an older version of Datashed and  will be updated as feasible.  In addition, training sessions are periodically offered.

What kind of documents and file types can Datashed store?  Datashed can store any type of document that can be saved as a PDF.  Common types of documents include project final reports, O&M plans, planning documents, maps, design and as-built drawings, water sampling diagrams/schematics, inspection forms, etc.  Datashed can also store photographs such as JPEG.

What is the Restoration Tote Board? The restoration tote board provides a summary of the amount of mine drainage in gallons/year that is being treated, as well as the pollutant loading in pounds/year that are being removed by all of the passive treatment systems that have both flow and water chemistry data for the influent (untreated water flowing into the treatment system) and effluent (treated water flowing out of the treatment system) sampling points of the treatment system. If this data has not been entered then these statistics cannot be calculated and therefore can not be included as part of the tote board. The Tote Board indicates the number of "Projects Included" which do have this data and have been included for these statistics. The actual number of projects within Datashed is actually higher.

Who owns Datashed?  Datashed was developed by and is technically "owned" by Stream Restoration Incorporated (SRI), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring streams that have been impacted by human activity, especially historic mining operations.   SRI provides this service free of charge because we believe in the importance of water monitoring and maintenance of treatment systems and wanted to share with others the website tool we had originally developed for the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition.

Will Datashed sell my personal information? No. Neither Datashed nor Stream Restoration Incorporated will sell any of your personal information.