City Times Staff
Crews from Wis. Public Service will soon be dredging a local portion of the Wisconsin River to rid the riverbed of contaminants.
Crews will close part of Pfiffner Park beginning in early October for the project, which will remove dirt and mud contaminated with petroleum- based remnants of a coal gassification plant operated by WPS. That plant closed around 1940.
Brian Bartoszek, remediation and waste manager for WPS said the contaminants aren’t harmful to humans, and those who have going swimming, boating or fishing aren’t in immediate danger, and neither are the birds or fish that rely on the waterway.
Bartoszek said the microscopic organisms that live in the river sediment are adversely affected by the contamination. If those organisms can’t thrive, it affects the food chain for fish and birds.
Pedestrian and public use of the park should reopen completely by the end of November.
A public hearing has been scheduled to consider approving the permit for the clean-up at the Sept. 8 City Plan Commission. That meeting begins at 6 PM in the Lincoln Center, 1519 Water Street.