"Water and air, the two most essential fluids on which
all life depends, have become global garbage cans."
Jacques Cousteau 1910-1997
In our rainy climate, stormwater is an issue. At the landfill it is even more of an issue because any water that comes into contact with garbage is considered leachate and must then be treated. For this reason, stormwater is conveyed through a series of ditches around the landfill wherever possible. In addition, vegetated soil covers are used to cover the garbage surface in areas where active filling is not occurring. This cover helps keep the garbage and stormwater separate. Finally, areas that have reached capacity have final closure systems installed for even better separation of garbage and stormwater. For more information on these cover systems, see the Construction section of this website.
Erosion & Sediment Control
Keeping stormwater out of the landfill is part of stormwater management on site. The other part is keeping the stormwater clean from litter and sediment. This is done through implementing erosion control techniques in the stormwater ditches and wherever stormwater runoff occurs. A variety of techniques are used in conjunction around the site for maximum effectiveness
The landfill uses the sheriffs work crew 4 days a week for various projects on site. One of these projects is picking up litter. This not only keeps the site clean, it helps keep the stormwater ditches clean and free of debris. Additionally, the opportunity for trash to blow around is minimized through the use of litter fences. These fences are tall and made from plastic netting supported by t-posts. They are strategically placed to catch litter around the working face of the garbage.
Permanent Control Measures
The most effective form of erosion prevention is vegetation. By establishing grasses and native plants around the site, soils and slopes are stabilized. The vegetation not only provides a roughened surface which slows down water travel, it also provides transpiration of a portion of the surface water and it's roots systems help to bind the soil. Vegetation is a long term erosion control solution that resists slpash erosion from rain, wind erosion, and surface erosion from flowing water. Vegetation is also used for controlling sediment transport at the landfill. By adding vegetation to the stormwter ditches on site. Plants not only act as a filter for stormwater, they slow the flow, which allows sediment to settle out of the water.
In some areas of the landfill, large rock, or rip-rap is used instead of vegetation. This is either because the area will
not support vegetation, or the area experiences high stormwater flows. Examples include pipe inlets and outfalls, downdrains and ditches with high flows. In these instances, rock is used to disperse the energy of the water, thus slowing it down. Rock is also used to create check dams, like the one shown to the right, in vegetated ditches to further slow the flow of water, thus increasing filtration and settling of the stormwater.
Temporary Control Measures
Although vegetation is the most effective form of erosion control, it takes time to become established and often interim control measures are needed. These measures are usually done in conjunction with seeding and include: roughening of the seeding surface, installation of straw wattles on a slope and adding erosion control matting over a seeded area or in a ditch. Additionally, in areas where soil must remain bare for period of time, such as soil stockpiles, silt fence is installed around the stockpile to trap sediment and keep it from running off site. This silt fence is shown in the picture below.