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The HELP model estimates water balances for landfills and other land disposal systems. The program models rainfall, runoff, infiltration, and other water pathways to estimate how much water builds up above each landfill liner. The model considers design parameters. It can incorporate data on: vegetation, soil types, geosynthetic materials, initial moisture conditions, layer thicknesses, slopes, drain spacing, and liner placement.
A hydrological evaluation tool with many uses
–Landfill closures: Use of the HELP model is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to evaluate closure designs of hazardous and nonhazardous waste management facilities.
–Design evaluation and permitting: More than 2,000 private engineering offices in a dozen countries use the model for landfill design evaluation and regulatory permitting actions. More than 200 offices of federal, state, and municipal governmental agencies use it for these purposes as well.
–Training and research: This model is used for training and research at more than 50 universities.
Current model and a new version in production
The HELP model was developed for the EPA by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station. This was done under a cooperative agreement with the EPA to support the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Superfund programs. The model applies to open, partially closed, and fully closed sites. Landfill systems can be modeled that include various combinations of: vegetation, cover soils, waste cells, lateral drain layers, low permeability barrier soils, and synthetic geomembrane liners.
The model calculates daily, monthly, annual, and average annual estimates. It estimates amounts of: runoff, evapotranspiration, drainage, leachate collection, and liner leakage.
HELP v3.5, a Microsoft Excel-based application, is being developed. This will replace HELP v3.07, a DOS application. A beta version of the new tool will be available in the near future.
HELP v3.07 is a DOS executable program, meaning it does not run in a Windows or iOS environment. The 16-bit program will not natively work with 64-bit systems (i.e., most Windows 7 and more recent systems). Therefore, a 3rd party emulator is required. To use a DOS emulator to install the HELP model, please follow the steps in “Walkthrough to Install and Operate the Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model v3.07” below.
HELP Model V3.07 (ZIP)(4 MB)
Documentation to learn more about HELP is available:
US EPA. (1984) Hydrologic Evaluation Of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model, Volume 1 (PDF). Publication No. EPA/530/SW-84/009.
US EPA. (1984) Hydrologic Evaluation Of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model Volume 2 (PDF). Publication No. EPA/530/SW-84/010.