PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
SAUK COUNTY LANDFILL
EXCELSIOR, SAUK COUNTY, WISCONSIN
The site is a closed landfill that has caused groundwater contamination on and off of the site property. VOC contaminants from the site have been detected in one private well. This contamination poses no apparent public health hazard. No adverse health effects are expected from exposures to the VOCs in this well.
Contaminated groundwater could pose a public health hazard in the future. If persons were to drink groundwater with the highest concentrations of the contaminants detected in on-site monitoring wells, they would have an increased lifetime cancer risk. Contaminant concentrations decrease rapidly a short distance from the landfill, and have been also dropping rapidly over time. For this reason, this future exposure scenerio is unlikely.
Arsenic, beryllium and PAHs were detected at elevated levels in on-site soils. Exposures to these soils do not pose public health hazards.
Carcinogenic VOCs have been detected in soil gas samples at relatively high levels. While these samples can not be associated with an exposure to those VOC's, it is not possible to determine if these contaminants could pose a public health hazard in ambient air. The likelihood of such an exposure cannot be estimated from the soil gas sample results. This sample is not sufficient for ruling out an ambient air exposure that could pose a public health hazard.
A remedy has been selected for this site that includes improving the existing landfill cap, continued monitoring of the groundwater quality, and installing a landfill gas extraction system. Improving the landfill cover will reduce the amount of water entering the landfill to possibly produce leachate. Continued monitoring of the groundwater quality will determine whether the groundwater quality continues to improve and will warn of possible drinking water contamination in the future. The landfill gas extraction system will capture the VOCs, eliminate the possible ambient air exposure, and reduce the ability of VOCs to dissolve into water.
Based on the conclusions developed in this report the Wisconsin Division of Health makes the following recommendations concerning the Sauk County Landfill Site:
- A groundwater monitoring plan should be developed that will provide the nearby well users protection from exposure to contamination above levels that could cause health effects.
- Developers should not be allowed to construct new wells within the area of groundwater contamination.
- Evergreen Property Owners Association should be kept up to date with any changes or new site related information.
The WDOH and the ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel evaluated the data on this site to determine what needs exist for additional research and/or local education about health related concerns. Such activities could include conducting further studies on cases of disease in the area or providing information about exposure to toxic chemicals. Although exposure to site related contamination has occurred at the site, those exposures are not expected to cause adverse health effects. For this reason no further studies are recommended at this time.
The WDOH will provide community education about this site as part of its ongoing efforts at
Wisconsin's Superfund sites. If future WDOH evaluations indicate that additional completed
exposure pathways exist or that the community has expressed specific health concerns, then
WDOH will consider reviewing health outcome databases.
The DOH, in cooperation with ATSDR, will conduct the following activities to respond to the recommendations of this assessment:
- Provide continuing public health education as new information related to public health issues becomes available;
- Review and comment on public health aspects of the remedial design for the site.
- Provide site information and offer health information to primary care physicians and public health professionals in the geographic region of the site.
- Advise and consult with the DNR on public health concerns that may arise as new information about the site becomes available.
- Work with the DNR to ensure that a groundwater monitoring plan is developed is protective of the private well owners in the area.
Preparer of the Report:
- Chuck J. Warzecha
Section of Chronic Disease & Health Assessment
Bureau of Public Health
Division of Health
Wisconsin Department of Health & Social Services
ATSDR Regional Representatives
- Louise Fabinski and Manna Edwards
Office of the Assistant Administrator
ATSDR Technical Project Officer
- William Greim
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
The Sauk County Landfill Public Health Assessment was prepared by the Wisconsin Division of Health under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the health assessment was initiated.
William Greim, M.S., M.P.H
Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC)
The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this health assessment and concurs with its findings.
Robert C. Williams, P.E., DEE
Director, DHAC, ATSDR