Solar Apollos dewatering closed 1955 landfill that still generates smelly gas

Municipalities, counties responsible
for thousands of closed sites

Apollo Solar Piston Pumps™ from Blackhawk Technology Company were the choice of a nationally respected engineering firm to remove groundwater and condensate from new gas-extraction wells at an East Coast landfill closed in the late 1970s after being designated a Superfund site.

Counties and municipalities across North America are responsible for thousands of closed landfills, often commissioned before the advent of effective liners. Old landfills can still generate methane, and many have remediation issues for seeping leachate.

The East Coast site, opened in 1955, was operated by a township before being purchased in 1972 by a multi-state waste company. The U.S. EPA ordered the landfill closed after liquids from the landfill began leaking onto nearby streets, forcing a housing-construction project to be abandoned. The liquid contained VOCs and pollutants were found in residential water wells. The closest residence was about 50 feet from the site.

Cleanup and remedy requirements were met in 1993, and the landfill was removed from the national priorities list in 1994. EPA reviews in 2000, 2005 and 2010 determined that the remedy remained protective. Results are pending from a new EPA five-year review.

Housing was built that eventually surrounded the site. Nearby residents, however, claimed that odorous methane still emanated from the landfill. The site manager decided to install three LFG gas-extraction wells to reduce the odor and power a gas-to-energy collection system.

Installation was quick and straightforward

In lieu of running trenches for electric power to the closed site, engineers specified and installed three Blackhawk Apollo Solar Piston Pumps™ to dewater and remove condensate from the landfill's affected corner. The engineering firm has been working with Blackhawk’s Apollo pumps successfully at other sites and has been pleased with their performance. In addition to low-emission service, Apollo pumps have been effective in removing leachate from closed sites.

The pumps were installed in mid-December in 25-feet-deep extraction wells with 6-inch-diameter HDPE casings. Each pump operates with a single solar panel at approximately 40 ° north latitude, running all day and idle at night. All are performing to expectations.

Installation was straightforward and accomplished quickly, the engineering firm said. Blackhawk representatives were on site to observe the process and answer questions.

"We have been very pleased with the success of the pumps so far," the firm’s on-site manager said. "We are now able to obtain optimal performance from the LFG extraction wells that have been equipped with Blackhawk pumps."