by Lisa Tome
Jeff Otto knows what he'd like to do with all that sediment backed up at the Conowingo Dam.
He wants to make rocks from it.
Otto, founder of HarborRock, told the Cecil County Council about his plans and his company last week.
Back in 1996, Otto founded HarborRock. The company uses dredging material to make uniform-sized lightweight aggregate.
The raw material is extracted, dried, run through an extruder, dried again, cooked in a kiln and then cooled. The aggregate is then used in masonry block and ready-mix concrete.
He explained that his operation works like an underwater quarry.
"The market is growing. They want more of this product. Architects very much want this product," said Otto.
Councilwoman Joyce Bowlsbey asked Otto his plan if negotiations go Otto's way and he's hired to clean up the sediment at the Conowingo Dam. Otto has submitted a plan to the Army Corps of Engineers for review. He said an ideal site would be the former Bainbridge Naval Training Center.
It was established that there are about 160 million tons of sediment at the dam now and an additional three million tons are generated annually.
He would pump the sediment from the dam to Bainbridge.
"This is all conceptual. The Army Corps has not decided what to do with the sediment behind the dam," explained Council President Robert Hodge.