2020 INSPIRE Student Research & Engagement Showcase

An Assessment of Waterloo, Iowa’s Industrial History and Its Potential Links to Environmental Contamination

Samantha Schuler, University of Northern Iowa
Pratik Poudel, University of Northern Iowa

Abstract

The legacy of a community’s industrial past can have environmental implications for current residents. Waterloo, Iowa experienced rapid industrial growth around the turn of the 20th century, with 28 factories in 1881 expanding to 144 factories by 1914. Unfortunately, this industrial activity may be a source of groundwater and soil contamination. Our research investigates potential environmental contamination linked to several paper mills and other industrial sites that operated in the downtown area prior to environmental regulations. This initial research includes documenting the historical locations and possible pollutants linked these industries that may persist within the environment today.

 
Apr 17th, 12:00 PM Apr 17th, 4:00 PM

An Assessment of Waterloo, Iowa’s Industrial History and Its Potential Links to Environmental Contamination

The legacy of a community’s industrial past can have environmental implications for current residents. Waterloo, Iowa experienced rapid industrial growth around the turn of the 20th century, with 28 factories in 1881 expanding to 144 factories by 1914. Unfortunately, this industrial activity may be a source of groundwater and soil contamination. Our research investigates potential environmental contamination linked to several paper mills and other industrial sites that operated in the downtown area prior to environmental regulations. This initial research includes documenting the historical locations and possible pollutants linked these industries that may persist within the environment today.