pipeline backfill

Utilities Benefit From Foundry By-Product

  • ​Over 600 tons of Waupaca Foundry slag has been kept out of landfills thanks to local utility use.
  • Foundry slag is a money-saving alternative to traditional backfill, helping utilities run more efficiently.

Once upon a time, foundry slag had a boring reputation. Its unglamorous name was synonymous with unwanted leftovers. You could imagine it as the unfortunate, unusable “eggshells” tossed away after the “omelet” was made, relegated to linger in landfills. That has since changed, and Waupaca Foundry is leading the way. In Etowah, Tennessee, slag generated by Waupaca Foundry Plant 6 is getting a second chance by helping out the local utility company.

With physical properties similar to crushed stone, our slag by-product is a natural choice for utility companies who need such material as backfill for their public pipeline projects. It’s an ideal alternative to traditional backfill, thanks to its versatile nature and swift drainage properties. Pipelines couched in foundry slag are secure, well drained and easily re-excavated if later pipeline repairs are ever required. Even better, the use of aggregate slag reduces construction and material costs and makes use of an available resource without needing to mine native material elsewhere.
So far, Etowah utility companies have used over 600 tons of foundry slag from Waupaca Foundry Plant 6 in their pipeline construction and repair projects. That’s 600 tons of foundry slag earning a new and reusable reputation.