The Wabash and White rivers are now receding and with that are also public health concerns.
The Knox County EMA asks residents to follow the instructions from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for the proper disposal of sandbags.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is responsible for protecting human health and the environment.
IDEM regulates the disposal of used sandbags. Proper sandbag disposal varies based on what has come in contact with the sandbags.
If sandbags have come in contact with industrial wastes, fuel, oil or other chemicals that could negatively impact the environment, they must be disposed of at a municipal solid waste landfill.
If sandbags have come in contact with manure, the sand from them may be land applied on agricultural land at an application rate that is consistent with state regulations and recorded in the farm’s operating record. The empty bags must be disposed of at a municipal solid waste landfill.
If sandbags have come in contact only with floodwater or have not been used, they may be sent to a municipal solid waste landfill or they may be used under certain conditions and restrictions. The following are alternatives to disposal:
Sand from used or unused sandbags can be used as substitute aggregate in construction applications; Full sandbags can be used as general fill or for the construction of berms.
The sandbags must be covered with a minimum of six inches of soil and vegetative cover.
The cover must be in place to keep bags from being exposed on the surface and prevent them from deteriorating and blowing or washing away.
Unused sandbags can be saved for future use.
Because sand from used sandbags can be abrasive and dusty, contain clay that can stain clothing, and may have come into contact with floodwaters that can be contaminated, it should not be used where there will be direct human contact, such as a child’s sandbox.
For a list of Indiana solid waste disposal sites, visit the IDEM Web site at
http://www.idem.IN.gov/5047.htm or contact the Knox County Solid Waste Management at 812-895-4878 .