Landfill Liners and Alternative Daily Cover

The old garbage dumps of days gone by are no more. Today’s waste disposal solutions are increasingly sophisticated. Environmental regulation, recycling, and the development of plastics – of all things – have contributed to far more tightly managed landfills, with goals inching towards zero waste.

Garbage dumps used to be large holes, usually on the edge of town, where garbage could be buried. While this was an improvement on how people have historically dealt with their trash – by throwing it out the window, into rivers and fields, or alongside the road – it was still a health hazard, an increasingly offensive thing as populations grew, and an environmental burden.

 

In the United States, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, passed by the US Congress in 1976, changed how garbage is processed, managed and stored. The garbage dumps of the past were simply places where garbage was buried. Today’s landfills are much more complexly engineered sites.

They are extensively planned locations that are constantly monitored. This move toward increasingly more environmentally sound methods has also increased the efficiency of these sites. Before selecting a site for a landfill, city planners must work with engineers to determine what the effects a landfill will have in the long term.

An additional safety measure came when the EPA examined using alternative materials for landfill “daily cover”. Landfills are required to be covered at the end of each working day, and the original method was to use a layer of soil. This was obviously wasteful of resources, and used up the landfill quickly.

Since the EPA report in 1993, landfills and state regulations have increasingly adopted alternative daily cover (ADC), typically turning to geosynthetic materials such as polyethylene and PVC, which work well both to contain and to filter, and can be manufactured in very large and custom-fitting sheets.

Geomembranes and geotextiles (the “geo” part simply means working with the land) had already been used as part of the liner underneath the landfill. It now became possible to use them as the top cover also.

Landfill Bottom Liners and Top Covers

One of the biggest issues surrounding landfills is their impact on the environment, particularly the potential of contaminants reaching the groundwater supply. To prevent this, a bottom liner is used. While it is well known that placing large qualities of garbage in one location can have long lasting consequence, scientists and engineers continue to work toward better solutions that are more environmentally friendly.

The EPA constantly works to regulate how landfills are designed and managed so that any new discoveries of more environmentally friendly methods can be incorporated quickly. Currently for landfill liners, it requires multiple layers of materials be used for landfills.

The underlying liner of new landfill sites will often consist of a soil or clay layer combined with a geotextile – a synthetic permeable membrane that screens solids out from the ever-present liquid descending from the trash, the “leachate”. This liquid is a severe pollutant and is contained and directed to a treatment process by yet another geosynthetic layer, this one impermeable. And underneath this layer will often be another impermeable layer of dense clay.

Landfill daily cover used to be almost as elaborate, taking 6 inches of soil or clay for each day’s landfill cap. With the continued improvement of geosynthetic materials, these over-engineered solutions can be replaced by a more plastic material. Landfill covers made of a synthetic reinforced polyethylene can create greater safety for the environment, combined with being easier to use, and less costly than other alternative daily covers. They can also be re-used.

Daily cover must contain gasses generated by the garbage, control odor and dust, minimize windblown litter, discourage birds, and prevent pests and the spread of disease. Geomembranes do all these things very well, as well as reducing fire risk, improving community tolerance of the landfill, and most importantly, shedding surface water efficiently – thus avoiding adding to the leachate.

The light yet tear-resistant qualities of geosynthetic materials make them easy for operators to install. To further reduce the risk of tears or holes, manufacturers can create the liner in very large or even one piece to fit the landfill size.

The benefit of using this type of cover is that it reusable. This saves cities a lot of money. Also, because operators don’t have to add additional materials to landfill, the lifespan of the site is extended. The combination of a good landfill liner and an alternative daily cover significantly decreases the long term impact the landfill has on the environment.

The federal government provides oversight of landfill operations to ensure that improvements are made Landfilthat make them more environmentally friendly. This involves tracking recycling and composting efforts. Both government and operators are also exploring ways of generating energy from waste processes.

The United States generates 262.4 metric tons of solid waste each year. That number has grown each year – but efforts in recycling and composting have caused it to plateau, and since 2005, the growth has been minimal.

Bottom Line

Landfills are becoming better about preserving the environment. Their efforts, coupled with increased recycling efforts, are improving how waste is managed in the United States. The development of synthetic materials for landfill liners and alternative daily cover has significantly advanced the design and management of landfills.

The Importance of Maintaining Your Water Conditioner

Access to clean water is a fundamental human right according to the United Nations. However, trying to get clean water straight to your home might prove to be a challenge. So to overcome that, you’ve had a water tank and conditioner installed on the rooftop of your house – presumably with the help of a Plainfield roofing contractor.

But just like any other household appliance that you have, you should periodically maintain your water conditioner as well. To further convince you why you should do it, here are some of the reasons why maintaining your water conditioner is important:

  1. Any of the various parts of your water conditioner could eventually wear out over time.

There could eventually come a time when your water conditioner might suddenly malfunction, thus compromising your previously clean water supply. But instead of needing to replace your entire water conditioner with a brand-new one, you might want to check first if any of its parts have worn down over time. Maybe you’ll only need to change an O-ring or the conditioner valve – and save money in the process.

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  1. Keeping your water conditioner in tip-top shape ensures that unwanted chemicals are always removed from your water supply.

The groundwater in your area generally isn’t safe to drink as it contains various contaminants including, but not limited to, chlorine, ammonia, and chloroform. If you haven’t maintained your water conditioner since you had it installed, anyone in your family might resort to drinking water straight from the tap and then fall ill after experiencing the effects that its various contaminants can bring to them.

Thus, you should always make sure to do periodic maintenance of your water conditioner so that the water running all throughout your house is safe for everyone to drink from.

  1. A well-maintained water conditioner helps prevent hard minerals from building up in your plumbing.

Even if the groundwater in your area has been treated so that it doesn’t have many contaminants, it may still contain large traces of hard minerals that can accumulate in your plumbing over time. This buildup of hard minerals can cause your water flow rate to decrease, and having a malfunctioning water conditioner wouldn’t do any wonders to your plumbing either.

Regularly maintain your water conditioner so that no hard minerals damage your plumbing.

Aside from either fixing your house’s plumbing on your own or asking for the help of a plumber to get rid of those hard mineral clogs for you, you should also check your water conditioner and ensure that it’s functioning properly. Don’t forget to regularly maintain your water conditioner so that no hard minerals damage your plumbing.

  1. Periodically maintaining your water conditioner helps avoid the occurrence of scaling.

Another adverse effect that hard minerals in groundwater can bring – aside from causing plumbing clogs as already mentioned above – is scaling. If you’ve noticed that your kitchen sink and bathroom drains, as well as the head of your shower, have turned brown, that’s scaling right there. You can remove the hard minerals deposited on your drains and shower head by thoroughly scrubbing them. But as long as your water conditioner isn’t working as it should, you have to expect the same scaling to happen repeatedly.

You should therefore periodically maintain your water conditioner so that your drains and shower head always look good as new – no matter how much water passes through them.

Conclusion

Clean water can sometimes be hard to come by, most especially if groundwater in your area is scarce during certain times of the day. Thus, having a rooftop water tank and conditioning system installed so that you and your family won’t run out of clean water to use is one of the wisest decisions that you could ever make.

You wouldn’t want to leave your water conditioner unchecked though as it can put you and your family’s health at risk. Instead, you should maintain your water conditioner. It’s entirely up to you if you want to maintain your water conditioner yourself or hire the services of a professional when needed.

How Does Water Filtration Work?

The reality is that drinking water has contaminants, and that’s something you have to address to ensure the safety of your family. The good thing is you can address this by simply investing in a good water filtration system. The following will help you understand how one would work.

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Microfiltration Goes First

Okay, there are many water filtration systems out there to choose from. Some of these systems are whole-house systems you can have installed and will filter all of the water going into your home. The drawback is that these systems will have to be uninstalled if you decide to move to a new home.

Those who value portability may want to consider smaller water filtration that you can take with you wherever you go. Whatever you choose, the internal process of each water system normally starts with microfiltration. A reliable water filter system is going to have a complex filtration system with millions of pores to destroy potential contaminants like parasites, cysts, bacteria, herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals, just to name a few things.

The microscopic pores do not allow pathogens and contaminants to pass through. Those contaminants become trapped within the filter. Of course, this is the reason your filters are going to have to be replaced sooner or later. The amount of times you replace your filter depends on how often the filter is used and the construction of the filter itself.

Adsorption is Key

The second step water filters take to ensure that your water is as clean as possible is adsorption. This is a process where an ionic barrier is formed to help the microscopic porous filter work more effectively.

The truth is some contaminants are a little smaller than the tiny pores of the porous filter. These contaminants could make their way out of the first stage without this second stage. The barrier seems to be strong enough to make contaminants like submicron viruses stop in their tracks. It also helps stop iodine or chlorine, both of which are quite common in tap water.

You should remember that the metals that could be in your water such as cadmium, copper, lead, and mercury are also extracted at this point. These questionable heavy metals are extracted through an Ion exchange process, thanks to the electronically charged barrier formed within the filter. Remember that all filters are not this sophisticated, so make sure you find out if the filter you are considering removes heavy metals.

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There is no way you want to allow heavy metals to contaminate your home. A high concentration of these metals can lead to all sorts of other issues, such as organ damage. Some say that prolonged exposure to these metals could put people at risk of developing some types of cancer. Dangers like these shouldn’t plague your mind, and they don’t have to with the help of a good filter.

A Different Method

One more thing that needs to be pointed out is that good quality water filters usually use the long contact period filtration method. Okay, most water filters do what they are supposed to by relying on the water pressure in your home. In essence, the water pressure in your home pushes water through the filtration system, which is how contaminants are removed.

Technically, this type of filtration isn’t bad, and it is effective enough to give you clean water, but the long contact period filtration system takes another approach. What these types of filters do is allow water to flow through the first stage using gravity rather than pressure.

Gravity is a little slower, meaning the water has a long contact period as opposed to regular filters where the water shoots through the filter. Yes, this kind of filtration is a lot slower, but the results are much more impressive. You’d be surprised how many contaminants make it through a filtration system that relies purely on pressure. If you want to give your family the best clean water you can give, then be sure to choose a long contact period filtration system.

Now that you know how water filters work and why they are so important in living a healthy life, you can begin your search. The best thing is you won’t need to worry about buying water from the store nor will you have to pollute the earth with dozens of water bottles that you have to discard often.