FOND DU LAC, Wis. — The muck at the murky bottom of an eastern Wisconsin lake is being dredged and repurposed.

The city of Fond du Lac removed about 540 tons of lake-bottom material from around a pier at Lakeside Park at Lake Winnebago, the Fond du Lac Reporter reported .

The dredging is done every two to three years to ensure boats can navigate in and out of the harbor. This year it cost more than $13,500.

The material can be used as fill and landscape material for various sites around the city, said Jackie Marciulionis, a hydrogeologist with the state Department of Natural Resources.

She said the materials will be dried and then blended with clean topsoil to reduce the concentration of contaminants. It will be ready for use once tests show that the material is clean. Initial samples of the material found that it had slightly high levels of the contaminant benzo(a)pyrene.

“It was a low level, but enough that we have to handle it carefully to prevent anyone from coming in contact with the soil directly until it can be treated,” Marciulionis said.

It saves cities money to find ways to use dredged material instead of disposing it in landfills, Marciulionis said. Material dredged from Lake Winnebago typically has low levels of contaminants and can be easily cleaned.

The city may use the material on baseball fields, on berms, at a dog park and to repair lawns damaged by municipal construction projects, said Nick Waldschmidt, stormwater engineer at the city’s engineering and traffic division.


Information from: The Reporter Media, http://www.fdlreporter.com