Sitelab Corporation

Case study - Dredge site testing PAHs in sediment


Courtesy of Sitelab Corporation

The Grand Calumet River is a tributary located in Northwest Indiana, which flows into Lake Michigan. Years of industrial pollution caused by nearby steel mills, petro-chemical plants and oil refineries have contaminated the river with oil and other pollutants, which threaten human and ecological health in this watershed. The primary contaminants of concern are carcinogenic Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons in the sediment. PAHs are found in oil and include compounds such as anthracene, chrysene, benzo[a]pyrene and many others, which are detectable using Sitelab’s ultraviolet fluorescence technology.

Beginning in 2011, J.F. Brennan (La Crosse, Wisconsin), removed the sediments from the river bottom down to 3 feet using a hydraulic dredge. The sediments were collected in Geotubes and the dewatered material was then transported off-site to an approved landfill facility. A total of 117,000 cubic yards (107,000m3) of contaminated sediment have been removed and dewatered on site.

Sitelab Corporation was hired by an environmental contractor to analyze 100 sediment samples collected from a post-dredge area covering a 1 mile stretch of river. The data was used to determine which of the 25 sample locations would require further assessment.

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