Extreme dirt, silt, slime and grime simply pumped away with the leachate

Time stands still for no person or thing, and certainly not for 30-year-old landfill turned into an award-winning recreational preserve. Mt. Hoy in the Blackwell Forest Preserve is the first of three projects undertaken by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County (FPDDC), Illinois, to use the collected wastes generated by one of the fastest growing populations in the United States in recontouring forest preserve land for recreational use. Blackwell Forest Preserve encompasses more than 1,000 acres including several lakes with fishing and boating facilities, hiking trails, shelters, and areas for picnicing, camping, winter tubing and cross-country skiing.

At Mt. Hoy, nine pumps moved leachate from the landfill to a centrally located, 10,000-gallon-capacity collection tank, to be trucked later to a sanitary facility for processing. One of these pumping stations presented a constant problem over the years due to the particularly heavy and viscous nature of the leachate at the spot, which the old pump increasingly could not handle. The project manager selected a heavier-duty Blackhawk pneumatic pump to replace the old pump and adapted the piping in the vault to accommodate the Blackhawk pump, which proved to be a model of efficiency.

"The Blackhawk pump has worked without fail, doing what it is supposed to do. It just keeps pumping and pumping, just like that drumming bunny on TV, as steady as can be, with no problems," the project technician said.

"Another great thing about the pump is that it’s pneumatic. There is no electricity out on the hill and we don’t want any electric wires there, which would destroy the beauty and the functionality of the hill. Instead we use a compressor with a dryer to supply air to the pumps, which prevents the lines from fouling up and from freezing over the winter," the manager said. "We’d love to have Blackhawk pumps all over the landfill."

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