Abandoned coal mine groundwater frequently contains depressed pH levels and elevated levels of hydrogen sulphide, iron, aluminium and nitrates. Abandoned coal mine groundwater is also usually high in copper, zinc, mercury, and lead. Groundwater from abandoned mines can seriously affect public health through the discharge of non-point source pollution. This paper presents information on a research project regarding the possible impacts of abandoned coal mines and its effects on groundwater as it relates to the health of residents in South Wellington, Nanaimo, British Columbia. The purpose of the project is to determine which illnesses are more common in South Wellington, Nanaimo and in the control area. The paper provides a discussion of the Nanaimo coal field and three major seams; the Wellington, Newcastle and Douglas which are most likely to have a significant impact on groundwater in South Wellington. 27 refs.