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University of Calgary (1999)

An investigation of leachate production from MSW landfills in semi-arid climates

Shroff, Vanita S

Titre : An investigation of leachate production from MSW landfills in semi-arid climates

Auteur : Shroff, Vanita

Université de soutenance : University of Calgary,

Grade : Master of Science (M.Sc.) 1999.

The prediction of peak and average leachate flow rates are important parameters for designing the landfill Leachate Collection and Removal Systems (LCRS’s) and the landfill bottom liners. The U.S. EPA’s HELP (Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance) model is the most widely used predictive tool for this purpose. This thesis describes a study on the leachate production patterns from MSW landfill and the applicability of HELP model in semi-arid climates. Field landfill lysimeter was constructed to study the effect of rainfall/leachate re-circulation on leachate production patterns from a simulated landfill. The MSW parameter values such as the practical field capacity, porosity, and saturated hydraulic conductivity were determined in the laboratory. The HELP model simulations were performed for the field rainfall/leachate re-circulation simulations using the laboratory MSW parameter values, and were compared to the actual field peak and average leachate production. The test results indicated that the time of placement of final cover was critical in minimizing leachate production in landfills ; the sooner the cover is placed, the less is the leachate produced. Practically, under semi-arid climatic conditions such as in Calgary, immediate placement of the final cover could delay leachate production by several years. The density of compacted waste was an important factor in leachate production from MSW landfills. The peak/average leachate production rate determined from the rainfall/leachate re-circulation field simulations was 20 for leachate re-circulation and 7.5 for rainfall infiltration events. The HELP model over-predicted the peak leachate discharge rate and the average leachate discharge rate, and under-predicted the peak/average leachate discharge ratio. It over-predicted the seepage through the barrier layer. The HELP model predictions can be improved by using site-specific waste and cover layer parameter values.

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