Reverse Osmosis Purifies Leachate
It’s pretty black and white: the effect of reverse osmosis on leachate, that is. The process involves high pressure filtration, which moves the leachate through multiple, semi-permeable membranes to remove more than 99 percent of contaminants. The results are as clear as the purified leachate, and exactly what we were hoping for when we installed our new reverse osmosis treatment system at our landfill site this fall.
For those of you who are new to our website, a bit of explanation may be in order. Leachate is rainwater that has contacted waste. In a landfill, the rainwater trickles down through the waste and is captured at the bottom by the liner system, and pumped out for treatment.
Typically, the leachate is trucked, or sent via pipeline, to waste water treatment plants, and until this fall, that’s how we managed our leachate. Due to the nature of the leachate, we were limited to the number of gallons we could send to the Seneca Falls treatment plant and trucked the remaining gallons to other, out-of-county treatment plants.
With the implementation of our reverse osmosis treatment system, the purified leachate is so clean that it could be discharged directly into a body of water. However, since Seneca Meadows lacks the infrastructure for direct discharge, we are now transferring nearly all of our purified leachate, through the sewer system, to Seneca Falls. This has resulted in a significant increase in revenue for the Seneca Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant, and has also eliminated up to 15 truck trips per day to out of county plants.
Our Area Manager, Don Gentilcore has this to say about our new reverse osmosis leachate treatment faciity, “This is a positive on many levels. We’re pumping more money into our local economy, decreasing our carbon footprint, and eliminating the discharge of untreated leachate through the Seneca Falls sewer system, while realizing long term operating savings. We’ve also bumped up our workforce with the new operator for the leachate treatment facility, and we were able to make use of an abandoned building on our site, which will increase tax revenue for the county.”
To view a video of the operation of a reverse osmosis leachate treatment system, like the one at Seneca Meadows, log onto http://vimeo.com/47055349.