Contaminated surficial sediments in major ports and harbors remain a significant economic liability during routine dredging operations. Numerous beneficial uses have been suggested in recent years that promise reduced sediment management costs concomitant with a productive material use. This manuscript describes the leaching of metals and metalloids from surficial sediments and from controlled low strength material (flowable fill) produced using the estuarine sediments as replacement for sand. Sediments from two locations within the New York/New Jersey Harbor area (Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek) (USA), were subjected to pH-dependent leaching tests and liquid-to-solid ratio dependent leaching tests. Results indicate that, in general, maximum contaminant levels for drinking water, used here as a benchmark for metals concentrations in leachate, were exceeded only at pH values less than 5 or greater than 9. Leaching as a function of increasing liquid-to-solid ratio demonstrated that pH controlled the observed behavior: unamended sediment leached lower concentrations of all elements except for the oxyanion arsenate. The flowable fill material, despite dilution of the sediment and incorporation into a cementitious matrix, leached higher element concentrations except for arsenic due to the high pH of the material. It was also shown that a much more grossly contaminated material (Newtown Creek) had a very similar leaching behavior to the less contaminated Gowanus Canal material. Speciation calculations demonstrated that dissolved organic carbon plays a significant role in the leaching observed from these estuarine sediments and the flowable fill made with the high organic matter content sediments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Waste Management and Disposal