Park closed for chemical clean-up

Signs at Selfridge Park warn visitors to stay out as remediation work begins.

A 140-year-old environmental problem at Selfridge Park and Ripon’s Mill Pond will be addressed, at least in part, beginning next week.

Beginning to solve the problem, though, means the park will be inaccessible until spring.

Alliant Energy, which once upon a time ran a manufactured gas plant at the site, is doing work aimed at removing some chemical compounds that long have been hidden under the Mill Pond.

To do so, it will remove sediment under the surface of the pond.

The first step toward doing so was completed Oct. 14 and 15, when the site was fenced off.

Work begins next week Monday, and in earnest come November.

Alliant and its subsidary Wisconsin Power & Light (WPL) waited until fall to avoid several problems.

According to Jill Stevens, WPL manager of environmental services, the company aimed to avoid a “general inconvenience to the public ... The kids are in school — that’s important.”

Cool fall weather also means the contamination will release fewer gasses into the air, she added.

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