Cleaning up landfill sites
Feb 26 2009
Six years after the EU Landfill Directive came into force in the UK, a leading supplier of natural wastewater treatment systems is hailing reed bed technology as one of the most sustainable solutions for treating landfill leachate.
ARM Ltd (UK) has been working with local authorities and private landfill managers to treat leachate with horizontal surface flow reed beds.
Tori Widdas from ARM cites one example in Essex where the company designed and installed a reed bed to specifically remove iron from the leachate:
“The gravel pit was used as a landfill for domestic rubbish for more than ten years in the 1960s and 1970s. More than £1 million was invested by the local council to clear up the site in 2007, including the installation of underground barriers and drains to control the flow of water leeching through the refuse.
“This leachate is treated by a horizontal surface flow reed bed. The bed is planted with Typha latifolia which have been shown to be particularly effective in the treatment of metals, in this case reducing the level of iron in the treated water to less than 20mg per litre.
“The Landfill Directive means that landowners and local authorities with responsibility for landfill sites must now prevent or reduce the pollution of surface water and groundwater by leachate.
“Reed bed treatment systems provide a sustainable and cost-comparable way of preventing groundwater contamination which is both low-energy and low-maintenance.”
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