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Congressional District # 03


EPA ID# WID980610141
Last Updated: May, 2015

Site Description

The Sauk County Landfill site is located in the township of Excelsior, in northeast Sauk County. The site was operated as a municipal landfill by Sauk County from 1973 to 1983.  Municipal, commercial and industrial wastes were disposed of at the site. The landfill contains approximately 750,000 cubic yards of waste, including 200,000 tons of foundry sand.  The landfill occupies approximately 14 acres of a county-owned 320-acre parcel of land.  Sauk County closed the landfill in 1983, and capped it with two feet of clay on the top and one foot of clay on the sides. 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigated the site, in 1984 and 1985, and found a plume of groundwater contamination, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as toluene, benzene, 2-butanone, 1,1-dichloroethylene, and 1,1-dichloroethane, as well as metals such as arsenic, barium, and chromium.  The site was scored for the National Priorities List (NPL) and listed on the NPL in 1989. 

Approximately 900 persons obtain drinking water from private wells within 3 miles of the site.


Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Soil and groundwater at the Sauk County landfill were contaminated with VOCs. The greatest potential health threat identified was the potential for drinking contaminated groundwater or inhaling vapors released by the groundwater.  Contaminant concentrations have been decreasing rapidly over time, and concentrations drop off significantly a short distance from the landfill.  The site currently poses no health threat to the public.

Arsenic, beryllium and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were detected at elevated levels in on-site soils. These levels are consistent with levels found in areas with heavy vehicle traffic.  Since people do not come in contact with these soils and the landfill has been capped, they do not pose a threat.

Cleanup Progress

In 1991, Sauk County officials signed a contract with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to complete an investigation and study of cleanup options (remedial investigation and feasibility study) at the site. To expedite the cleanup, Sauk County and WDNR agreed to complete a source control remedy prior to completing the full investigation and study. A source control decision was signed by the WDNR Secretary in March 1994, calling for Sauk County to install a multi-layered soil cap and gas extraction system at the landfill. Sauk County completed construction of the landfill cap and gas system in November 1994. A groundwater decision was signed in August 1995, calling for Sauk County to implement a groundwater monitoring plan. The vegetated landfill cap is maintained by Sauk County. Groundwater monitoring wells are sampled semiannually, and the gas extraction system continues to operate. Landfill gas is destroyed, using a flare. Groundwater data, collected over the past several years, indicates that groundwater quality continues to improve downgradient of the landfill. 

Three five-year reviews have been completed for the Sauk County Landfill site (May 19, 2000, August 19, 2005, and August 9, 2010). All five-year-reviews have determined that the remedy is functioning as designed and is protective of human health and the environment.  The Site achieved a Site-wide Ready for Anticipated Use (SWRAU) determination on September 17, 2010.  A fourth five-year review for the site will be completed in August 2015.

Community Involvement

Notices were published in the Baraboo News Republic, the Reedsburg Independent, the Home News and the Sauk Prairie Star newspapers in 2005 and 2010 stating that a five-year review of the remedy at the Sauk County Superfund Landfill had been conducted.  The notice announced the availability of the five-year review report and provided a summary of the five-year review findings and the protectiveness of the remedy. 


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
nabil fayoumi (fayoumi.nabil@epa.gov)
(312) 886-6840





Site Profile Information

This profile provides you with information on EPA's cleanup progress at this Superfund site.


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