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City of Lorain Residual Solids Evaluation Beneficial Use of Dredged Material


Residual Solids Evaluation – Beneficial Use of Dredged Material

Lorain County, Ohio
Funded by the Healthy Lake Erie Fund and the Ohio DNR Division of Coastal Management
Blending residual dredged material with leaf compost for open-air test plots
Evaluating data for engineered fill applications
Greenhouse studies for horticultural & agricultural applications

The City of Lorain (City) is advancing the planning, design, and construction of the Black River Dredged Material Reuse Facility (BRDMRF).  In 2019, the City began preparations for a pilot study of an innovative geotextile dewatering technology called a GeoPool.  In August 2020, the GeoPool was filled with sediments dredged from the federal turning basin in the vicinity of Black River.  The ODNR-Parks and Watercraft hydraulic dredging team performed the dredging and slurry delivery to the GeoPool, which was located on City-owned lands at the Black River Reclamation Site.  In October 2020, the GeoPool contained about 3,500 dewatered cubic yards of material suitable for examining marketable beneficial reuse applications.

The Residual Solids Evaluation (RSE) focused on the dredged material as a resource and its sustainable, practical beneficial reuse opportunities.  The RSE’s intention is to provide pertinent data to support dredged material reuse from the Black River as well as other Lake Erie tributary rivers and inland waterbodies.

Through a phased series of bench, greenhouse, and open-air test plots, the RSE is identifying marketable uses of the dredged material as a soils resource in the following applications:

  • Ecological restoration
  • Horticultural and agricultural plant production
  • Engineered fill (structural soil)
  • Brownfield restoration (capping)

Coldwater served as the prime consultant developing the experimental strategies, obtaining and complying with the State beneficial use permit, performing data analyses and interpretation, and construction management. Coldwater facilitated academic engagement by two university research teams (Bowling Green State University and Wright State University) advancing previous research further forward.


Dredged Material Mgmt
Beneficial Reuse
Greenhouse Studies
Geotechnical Studies
Open-Air Test Plot Studies

Grant Administration
Planning & Market Analyses
Environmental Permitting
Data Analysis & Interpretation
Construction Management