Apollo Erosion Control Project
Northeast Indiana Solid Waste Management District and Wood-Land-Lake Resources Conservation and Development, Inc.
Basin Program Funds:
An abandoned 18-acre landfill on the Black Creek, in northeastern Indiana's
St. Joseph River watershed, has been a chronic source of sediment and contaminated
leachate to the surrounding watershed. It drains to Fish Creek which contains
the greatest diversity of freshwater mussels in the Great Lakes basin. Further
downstream, the St. Joseph River flows into Fort Wayne, Indiana and provides
drinking water for over 200,000 people.
Agency jurisdiction over the landfill is unclear and, as such, offered an opportunity
to develop a unique approach to environmental remediation. A new partnership
has emerged to address the problems associated with the site, building trust
and a working relationship among representatives of public, private, local,
state and federal groups. This project exemplifies the Wood-Land-Lakes Resource
Conservation and Development Area Council's mission of "volunteers working together
for responsible stewardship of our natural resources." Local citizens had a
direct impact on water quality by adopting the abandoned, 18-acre landfill site,
while all partners participated in developing and implementing the remediation
The goal of the Apollo Erosion Control Project is to control erosion, sedimentation
and surface run-off from the highly erosive landfill site. The Apollo Erosion
Control Project has had an impact on recreation, biodiversity, economic sustainability,
human health and grassroots partnership issues. Improved water quality has helped
to ensure continued use of the creek for water-based recreation and improved
habitat for fish and wildlife populations.
This project is a component of a larger landfill closure plan
which involves implementing erosion control and establishing vegetative cover.
The partnership has already assessed current erosion rates, determined the number
and type of erosion control structures required and selected the vegetative
practices best suited to the site.
The project team began work on the landfill site in October 1998.
The first step was to construct a permanent service road to ensure adequate
access to the site.
During the summer of 1999, project personnel prepared the site
by grading the north and east gullies. They installed 30 tons of rip-rap with
subsurface drainage tiles along the gullies. The top of the site, approximately
8 acres, required almost 12,500 cubic yards of clay to cap it. After spreading
a layer of topsoil, project personnel used a hydroseeder to overseed with a
grass-legume and wheat cover crop. They also constructed a sediment retention
basin covering approximately 1/4-acre. The basin required an additional 15 tons
of rip rap and is approximately three feet deep.
Project personnel estimate that the grade stabilization structure will save
7,400 tons of sediment, 37 pounds of phosphorus and 7 pounds of nitrogen over
the 20 year life of the structure. Additionally, the seeded cap is expected
to remain for 50 years and save 24,300 tons of soil, 121 pounds of phosphorus
and 24 pounds of nitrogen over its lifespan. The project has been demonstrated
to over 6,500 students, lake association members, elected officials, environmental
groups and federal, state and local agencies. Project personnel arranged for
a site tour, conducted a radio interview and wrote numerous newspaper and newsletter
The initial Great Lakes Basin Program grant received considerable
local publicity which encouraged the project group to seek additional funds.
An additional $121, 000 in funding for more work on the project has resulted
from the initial investment. A local foundation provided money for groundwater
monitoring wells and funding for additional work has been approved by
Contact: Kathy Latz, (219) 349-1433