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Lucas heights solid waste landfill and downstream leachate transport—A case study in environmental geology

  • Knight M. J. 
  • Leonard J. G. 
  • Whiteley R. J. 
Article

Summary

The Lucas Heights landfill is a major solid waste disposal depot for Sydney, Australia. It is a source of pollution for Georges River estuary which supports an oyster industry and recreational fishing. The landfill is located on weathered sandstone and shale at the margin of a coastal plateau. Geophysical techniques and drilling have proved useful in defining subsurface hydrogeology. Groundwater, containing leachate, discharges as springs which feed tributaries of Georges River. Some leachate is being collected by drains and stored for treatment and it is practical for the remainder to be collected. A range of hydraulic properties have been determined and preliminary estimates of leachate quantities discharged from the site have been made using water balance accounting techniques. Variations in fill compositions of different ages have been noted. Significant methane and carbondioxide flows were detected in a three to five year old fill zone. Changes in water quality of streams leaving the site have been assessed. Downstream attenuation is a common feature, but some heavy metal and iron loadings increase due to illegal waste disposal outside the landfill. High rainfalls cause increases in leachate discharge. Landfill management practice will continue to improve as site hydrogeology is defined more closely.

Keywords

Sandstone Shale Landfill Site Unconfined Aquifer Seismic Refraction 

La Décharge De Matieres Solides De Lucas Heights Et Le Transport Des Effluents Vers L’Aval; Etude D’Un Cas De Géologie De L’Environnement

Résumé

La décharge de Lucas Heights est un important dépôt de matières solides pour la ville de Sydney (Australie). C’est une cause de pollution pour l’estuaire de la Georges River où existe une industrie ostréicole et où les pêcheurs amateurs vont pratiquer leur sport favori. La décharge est située sur des grès et des schistes argileux altérés, en bordure d’un plateau côtier. L’hydrogéologie des formations superficielles a été étudiée à l’aide de techniques géophysiques et de sondages. L’eau souterraine chargée d’effluents de la décharge forme des sources qui alimentent des affluents de la Georges River. Une partie de l’effluent est collectée par des drains et stockée en vue de son traitement et il est souhaitable que le reste soit aussi collecté. Une série de propriétés hydrauliqués a été déterminée et les premières estimations des quantités d’effluents provenant du site ont été notées. Des quantités significatives de méthane et d’anhydride carbonique ont été détectées dans une zone de la décharge, ancienne de 3 à 5 ans. Des changements de qualité de l’eau provenant du site ont été constatés. En général, on observe une atténuation vers l’aval mais il y a un accroissement des teneurs de quelques métaux lourds à cause de dépôts illégaux hors de la décharge. D’importantes chutes de pluie augmentent le volume des effluents. L’exploitation de la décharge continuera à s’améliorer au fur et à mesure qu’on connaîtra mieux l’hydrogéologie du site.

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Copyright information

© International Assocaition of Engineering eology 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Knight M. J. 
    • 1
  • Leonard J. G. 
    • 1
  • Whiteley R. J. 
    • 1
  1. 1.Engineering Geology, School of Applied GeologyUniversity of New South WalesKensigtonAustralia

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