Dewatering, Remediation, and Evaluation of Dredged Sediments

EPA Grant Number: R828770C007
Subproject: this is subproject number 007 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R828770
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (2001) - Midwest Hazardous Substance Research Center
Center Director: Banks, M. Katherine
Title: Dewatering, Remediation, and Evaluation of Dredged Sediments
Investigators: Schwab, Arthur Paul , Banks, M. Katherine , Nedunari, Krishnakumar , Newman, Lee
Institution: Purdue University - Main Campus , Central State University
Current Institution: Purdue University - Main Campus , Central State University , University of South Carolina at Columbia
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: October 1, 2001 through September 30, 2004
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Land and Waste Management


Dredging operations remove large quantities of sediments from the rivers and lakes of the United States to keep the waters navigable. Some of the sediments cannot be disposed on land due to concentrations of regulated contaminants that exceed allowable levels. These contaminated sediments are stored in confined placement facilities, but these facilities are nearing their capacity and new sites are becoming difficult to obtain. A need exists to remediate these sediments to make them suitable for beneficial use such as industrial fill or construction. This proposal describes a research project in which plants (primarily grasses and trees) are used to accelerate the removal of water from the sediments and degradation/extraction of the contaminants.


The plant-based technology will be tested in the field on sediments currently stored near Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin. In the dewatering phase of the project, small trees will be densely planted in the confined placement facility and allowed to grow for at least one year. The plantings will be in a statistical valid design to compare the effects of species and management practices. In situ monitors will provide real-time data relevant to the progress of the project (e.g., moisture content and dissolve oxygen in the sediments). At the end of the growth period, we will make recommendations concerning choices of species for dewatering sediments and proceed to the remediation phase of the project. At the conclusion of the dewatering phase, the trees will be removed, and grasses and legumes will be planted in their place. As with the trees, these species will be planted in a statistically valid design, with plant species and N and P fertilization rates as experimental variables. The success of the project will be gauged by the final concentrations of the contaminants (compared to the regulated concentrations) and the residual toxicity, which will be assessed with a suite of receptor organisms including seedlings, soil microorganisms, and earthworms.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 16 publications for this subprojectView all 108 publications for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

dewatering, remediation, dredged sediments , vegetative dewatering., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Contaminated Sediments, Environmental Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Microbiology, Hazardous Waste, Bioremediation, Molecular Biology/Genetics, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, microbiology, degradation, dewatering, vegetative dewatering, microbial degradation, genetics, bioavailability, biodegradation, contaminated sediment, microbes, contaminated soil, contaminants in soil, remediation, bioremediation of soils, earthworms, phytoremediation, dredged sediments

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • Final

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R828770    HSRC (2001) - Midwest Hazardous Substance Research Center

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R828770C001 Technical Outreach Services for Communities
    R828770C002 Technical Outreach Services for Native American Communities
    R828770C003 Sustainable Remediation
    R828770C004 Incorporating Natural Attenuation Into Design and Management Strategies For Contaminated Sites
    R828770C005 Metals Removal by Constructed Wetlands
    R828770C006 Adaptation of Subsurface Microbial Biofilm Communities in Response to Chemical Stressors
    R828770C007 Dewatering, Remediation, and Evaluation of Dredged Sediments
    R828770C008 Interaction of Various Plant Species with Microbial PCB-Degraders in Contaminated Soils
    R828770C009 Microbial Indicators of Bioremediation Potential and Success