Acid mine drainage (AMD) is being recognized as a major pollution source to surface water. Heavy trace metals emanating from abandoned mines are continuously being released and contaminating surrounding lakes and streams. The potential for utilizing fly ash and water softening sludge (WSS) as buffering and adsorption media for AMD water was assessed. The results indicated that AMD water treated with fly ash either met or exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency water quality criteria for effluent standards for total iron, manganese, suspended solids, and pH. The optimum dosage of fly ash and sludge needed for treating the acid mine water from Picher field, an abandoned lead and zinc mine in Oklahoma, has been determined. It was observed that each had better than 90 percent efficiency for removal of heavy metals from the AMD water. The combined use of fly ash and WSS was also investigated, but there was no significant improvement compared to using fly ash alone. In general fly ash had a greater buffering capacity to treat acid mine water than did WSS. Consequently, fly ash can be used to treat AMD water and minimize its environmental impact.