From 1969 to 2001, the Neillsville Foundry was an important employer for residents of Neillsville, Wisconsin, and the surrounding area. Over the years, however, foundry operators dumped foundry sand, a by-product of the casting process, on about 3 acres at the site. Two years after the foundry was abandoned, the City of Neillsville examined the site and moved to acquire a portion of the property for redevelopment.
Ayres Associates was hired to investigate the site for potential contamination. The investigation revealed elevated levels of arsenic in the foundry sand, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and chlorinated VOCs in the groundwater. Ayres then prepared a remedial action plan for the site.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources retained Ayres to design and construct a cap on approximately 4 acres. In 2006 the foundry sand dumping area was regraded and a cap of 2 feet of native, low-permeability fill and 6 inches of topsoil was constructed over the site. Ayres also provided construction observation and a year’s worth of quarterly groundwater monitoring.
The reclaimed property is now a recreational area with a hockey rink serving the youth of Clark County.