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Geotextile compatibility w/typical MSW landfill leachate

February 1st, 2013 / By: / Geomembranes, Geotextiles, GMA Techline

RE: Geotextile compatibility w/typical MSW landfill leachate
We need to respond to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) request for additional documentation that shows geotextile and geomembrane compatibility with typical landfill leachate. The request is associated with a municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill expansion permit application in Illinois. We are able to find some paper/documentation relating to polyethylene (PE) geomembranes to satisfy them. But we need to follow-up with papers for various types of geotextiles used in the landfill liner system and leachate collection system.

We are contacting vendors and GRI sources, but I thought you might be able to help me directly. If you have access to anything you can pass along, I’d surely appreciate the support.

(Andrew | Illinois)

Reply: Your inquiry raises two issues. One is that there is no typical leachate. The U.S. EPA has been opposed to concocting such a liquid and instead forces each site to have its own site-specific leachate to assess chemical compatibility. The second issue is that the test laboratories that do such commercial testing (the test is either EPA 9090 or ASTM 05322 followed by ASTM 05747 for geomembranes and ASTM 06389 for geotextiles) do not share their data since it is proprietary for their client.

This is all quite unsettling since geotextiles made from polypropylene and geomembranes made from polyethylene or polypropylene are essentially inert to most municipal solid waste (MSW) leachates as are most other resin/formulations. I would much rather focus on more challenging and provocative testing and design issues but, in this regard, I clearly don’t count…

Bob Koerner | GMA Techline

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