WAUSAU - Five soil samples will be taken from Riverside Park this spring and tested for high levels in chemicals.
The city's Parks and Recreation Committee voted unanimously to have five soil samples taken from the west-side park and tested for dioxins. The tests were ordered after continued pressure from Citizens for a Clean Wausau, a local advocacy group that works to ensure neighborhoods free from harmful toxins.
The tests will be taken in several places throughout the park at 100 Sherman St., but mostly on the western side, away from the river, according to city documents. A sample will also be taken from a culvert discharge area, where previous tests have shown elevated levels of dioxins.
The samples will include testing done at two different levels, the committee also decided, at soil depths of about 1 inch and again at 5-6 inches. Each of the five tests is estimated to cost $1,500, said Eric Lindman, the public works and utilities director.
The elevated levels of toxins are the result of a former Crestline Window plant site, near the current 3M plant. As a part of its normal functions, the Crestline plant in the 1980s released chemicals into the soil and groundwater, according to Wausau Daily Herald archives.