Office of Research and Development Publications

Does Disposing of Construction and Demolition Debris in Unlined Landfills Impact Groundwater Quality? Evidence from 91 Landfill Sites in Florida

Citation:

Powell, J., P. Jain, J. Smith, T. Townsend, AND T. Tolaymat. Does Disposing of Construction and Demolition Debris in Unlined Landfills Impact Groundwater Quality? Evidence from 91 Landfill Sites in Florida. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 49(15):9029-9036, (2015). https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b01368

Impact/Purpose:

To evaluate groundwater quality from samples collected in groundwater monitoring networks at 91 unlined, permitted CDD landfills in Florida, U.S. A total of 460,504 groundwater sample results were analyzed, with a median of 10 years of quarterly or semi-annual monitoring data per site including more than 400 different chemical constituents.

Description:

More than 1,500 construction and demolition debris (CDD) landfills operate in the United States (U.S.), and U.S. federal regulations do not require containment features such as low-permeability liners and leachate collection systems for these facilities. Here we evaluate groundwater quality from samples collected in groundwater monitoring networks at 91 unlined, permitted CDD landfills in Florida, U.S. A total of 460,504 groundwater sample results were analyzed, with a median of 10 years of quarterly or semi-annual monitoring data per site including more than 400 different chemical constituents. Downgradient concentrations of total dissolved solids, sulfate, chloride, iron, ammonia-nitrogen, and aluminum were greater than upgradient concentrations (p<0.05). At downgradient wells where sulfate concentrations were greater than 150 mg/L (approximately 10% of the maximum dissolved sulfate concentration in water, which suggests the presence of leachate from the landfill), iron and arsenic were detected in 91% and 43% of samples, with median concentrations of 1,900 µg/L and 11 µg/L, respectively. These results show that although health-based standards can be exceeded at unlined CDD landfills, the magnitude of detected chemical concentrations is generally small and reflective of leached minerals from components (wood, concrete, and gypsum drywall) that comprise the bulk of discarded CDD by mass.

URLs/Downloads:

https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b01368   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 08/04/2015
Record Last Revised: 03/04/2019
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 344253

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

LAND AND MATERIALS MANAGEMENT DIVISION