Municipal leachate treatment facility up and running

Section: 
News

By Barb McKay

Three years after the Municipality of Kincardine began looking at options for dealing with leachate from two landfills it is now operating a state-of-the-art leachate treatment facility.

Municipal staff and Mayor Anne Eadie were on hand last Tuesday for a tour of the new facility at the waste management centre in Armow. Back in 2013, Kincardine council sought input from consultants at Conestoga Rovers and Associates on options to handle leachate – water that comes in contact with landfill waste. The municipality had been trucking upwards of 45,000 litres of leachate each day from the waste management centre and the now closed Ward 1 landfill site to the municipal wastewater treatment plant. However, the wastewater treatment plant was not designed to treat leachate and trucking the waste is costly.

The municipality required a long-term solution, given the fact that leachate is produced for as many as 50 years after a landfill closes. It determined that a treatment facility on site at the waste management centre made the most economical sense and would be a better solution from an environmental standpoint. The municipality used government gas tax rebates to construct the $1.7 million facility.

Pipes run from the landfill cells at the waste management centre to the facility where any solids are removed and the leachate is treated with menthol, phosphoric acid and aluminum sulphate to remove nitrates and phosphates. The entire process is computerized, requiring only one trained operator to be onsite for monitoring purposes.

Water and wastewater supervisor Shamus Anderson said the treatment of leachate at the new facility is subject to provincial regulations and sampling is conducted at several stages throughout the process, not only within the facility but in wetlands before discharged treated water reaches the Penetangore River. He said processing the leachate at the facility is the safest way to get rid of it, far more so than trucking it.

Eadie said she is pleased that the facility is finally up and running.

“It’s more cost effective and better environmentally.”