Lower Saucon Township, Pa., plans to notify state regulators about the amount of leachate currently being collected at the IESI Bethlehem Landfill. While the volume is not violating state regulations, a town landfill consultant said it could indicate a possible leak in a liner.
The leachate is coming from a 5.8-acre section of the landfill and is running through a leachate collection system at a rate ranging from 30 to 100 gallons per day per acre.
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However, he said it can indicate a leak in a primary liner, which could also be allowing leachate to enter and collect in a secondary liner.
Should the leachate accumulate within the 2-foot thick secondary liner system, he said it could compromise the liner system and allow the contaminated water to enter the ground.
"If moisture is collecting in the 2-foot zone and not draining, the soil and gravel in that zone can shift and tear the primary liner," he said.
Representatives of IESI were not at the meeting. Birdsall said the company is not dodging the issue, but has said rainwater could be coming in at the edge of the liner system and that if there are liner problems, they would be repaired during the expansion IESI for which is seeking approval from DEP.