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Brownfields Reclamation – Biosolids and Slag Remediation in Hammond Indiana

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Historical records document that Moses was the first sanitary engineer, struggling with processing of human waste. Since that time, treatment of sewage has improved, however, the disposition of biosolids resulting from the treatment continues to be a challenge.

A Brownfield is an abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facility where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. Many brownfields exist in the United States “inner city” contributing little or no value to the surrounding area. The US Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Indiana's Department of Environmental Management have recognized that these properties can be put back to beneficial use by creating legislation facilitating clean up and development of Brownfield sites.

A particular 300+ acre site in Lake County, Hammond Indiana, known as the Bairstow site, was utilized as a dumping ground for industrial slag from steel manufacturing in the area in the early 1900's. The brownfield site has had little value other than a storage location for over 3,500,000 cubic yards of industrial slag. This Bairstow site is 3 miles north of the Sanitary District of Hammond sewage treatment works where 200,000+ cubic yards of biosolids, ranging in age from 15 to 22 years, are located. The Sanitary District of Hammond is under consent order to remove all biosolids from it's five storage lagoons accumulated therein over the past 20 years. Can the two locations with their individual problems work together to resolve specific issues at each site?

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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