Australia - Landfill Leachate Disposal

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stotts Creek Landfill is a major waste depot in Australia. Disposal of leachate is a major concern as the landfill site is close to agricultural areas. An effective and low cost leachate disposal system was needed, particularly during summer high rainfall season.

Vetiver grass has a very high water use and nutrient uptake rates, and it is tolerant to elevated levels of heavy metals and other adverse conditions. It is very well suited for effluent and leachate disposal. Leachate quality at Stotts Creek Landfill is low in heavy metals but relatively high in salts and nutrients.

Currently leachate and runoff from the landfill site are stored in ponds at the foot of the mound. During dry periods the leachate is irrigated onto the top of the completed waste mound where it evaporates or transpires into the atmosphere. During heavy rainfall the leachate overflows into a system of wetlands and then to a local creek. Following capping and topsoiling, Vetiver grass has been planted on the surface of the completed waste mound and irrigated with leachate from collecting ponds. Results to date have been excellent. Full details can be found here.

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