By Barb McKay
The municipality will consider building a leachate treatment facility at the new waste management centre.
Representatives from Conestoga Rovers and Associates presented a report to Kincardine council at its meeting last Wednesday outlining three alternatives for dealing with leachate (water that comes in contact with landfill waste) over the long-term. Kincardine currently collects and transports approximately two truckloads of leachate daily from the waste management centre (formerly Ward 2 landfill) and approximately one from the now closed Ward 1 landfill to the municipality’s wastewater treatment plant.
Greg Ferraro, of Conestoga Rovers, told council that the recommendation is to build an on-site treatment facility because it is less costly, provides a higher level of treatment and the likelihood of a leachate spill is greatly reduced.
The current method of trucking leachate to the wastewater treatment plant isn’t a practical long-term solution, though listed as one of the alternatives, Ferraro pointed out.
“The existing wastewater treatment plant was not designed with the treatment of leachate in mind,” he said. “It’s another animal entirely; another treatment method.”
Roughly 20 cubic metres per day is collected each day from the waste management centre and another 10 cubic metres of leachate is taken from the Ward 1 landfill daily. Ferraro said that leachate is produced for approximately 25 to 50 years after a landfill is closed and so a long-term treatment solution is necessary.
Leachate is treated by eliminating oxygen and metals, then aerated to remove nitrogen and phosphorus.
Another option that was explored to handle leachate was the construction of a pump house and a leachate force main to the Kincardine sewer system. A pipeline, three to four inches in diameter, would run from the waste management centre, down Side Road 15 to the North Line, then down Side Road 10 and Highway 9. The option force main option would have low operational costs, Ferraro said, but would have the highest initial cost and there would be a complex approval process.
The construction of an on-site leachate treatment facility comes with the lowest overall price tag of $5.9 million. The construction of a pump house and force main to handle leachate is estimated to cost approximately $8.4 million and the cost to continuing hauling leachate to the Kincardine waste water treatment plant would cost roughly $7.4 million. These figures were calculated by Conestoga Rovers for a 35-year period, taking into account inflation and interest rates.
A fourth option, suggested by Kincardine’s public works department, would be to truck the leachate to the waste water treatment facility at the Bruce Energy Centre (BEC), which was acquired by the municipality from Bruce Power. Public works director Gagan Sandhu said that facility is better equipped to deal with leachate and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment has agreed in principle to grant temporary approval to the municipality to truck leachate to the BEC.
Kincardine CAO Murray Clarke said there may be government funding available if the municipality chooses to build a treatment facility at the waste management centre. The matter will be discussed again at tonight’s council meeting.