Mayor Laurie French

Mayor Laurie French

Waste water upgrades made to district landfill

Improving leachate quality part of process to meet ministry requirements

Hope is taking steps to improve the quality of waste water at the municipal landfill.

A four-week study was launched last week to determine whether Sanitherm technology can be applied to the treatment of leachate on site. Leachate is created when the impurities running through the landfill due to natural decomposition mix with water. The effluent is currently being collected in two treatment ponds and 18 litres of water per minute are being filtered through the treatment system.

“The site has now been structured to allow the water to traverse down the slope to allow it to soak into the ground. As a result, the volume of leachate that has to be treated is reduced,” said town manager Earl Rowe. “But there’s still leachate and there will always be leachate collected.”

The goal of the study is to determine what kind of treatment facility is needed at the landfill to make sure waste water entering Shadbolt Creek, and eventually the Fraser River, is not a pollutant.

In September 2009, the Ministry of Environment inspected the landfill and issued a notice of non-compliance due to serious operational and health concerns. The district has since addressed many of these issues, but the province has yet to reinstate the site’s operating certificate. Work completed over the last year includes a new dedicated cell structure for waste disposal, re-ditching and piping throughout the site to control the flow of surface water, and the dredging and draining of two leachate treatment ponds. These improvements have reduced the amount of surface water at the landfill by 80 per cent.

Before the non-compliance notice is lifted, the ministry requires a design and operating plan as well as an environmental impact assessment. The district wants to review all options available to them first before starting this costly process.

A request for proposals has been issued for a contractor to study the future landfill options and prepare a cost analysis report. Mayor Laurie French said the review will determine if it’s viable to continue operating the landfill as is, or whether utilizing the site as a transfer station only will result in overall savings for taxpayers and reduce the harmful environmental impact.

Submission deadline for proposals is Sept. 19.