Water Movement in an Unsaturated Sanitary Landfill

by Irwin Remson,
A. Alexander Fungaroli,
Alonzo W. Lawrence,

Serial Information: Journal of the Sanitary Engineering Division, 1968, Vol. 94, Issue 2, Pg. 307-318

Document Type: Journal Paper


Understanding of the moisture regimen of a sanitary landfill is basic to a knowledge of the character and quantity of the water-borne contaminants it generates. Moisture-routing methods based upon the equation of continuity are extended to provide an approximate method for predicting vertical moisture movement through and out of sanitary landfill. The method is based upon climatological techniques of soil-moisture routing and incorporates the hydraulic characteristics of unsaturated permeable materials. Using the routing method, predictions were made of the effect of emplacement season and initial conditions on the moisture regimen of a hypothetical sanitary landfill. The results show that the, time that elapses before the appearance of the first leachate depends upon the season of emplacement and the initial moisture content. Different landfill-management objectives may be attained by controlling landfill moisture regimen through selection of emplacement season, initial moisture content, and related factors.

Subject Headings: Moisture | Seasonal variations | Water management | Landfills | Water content | Pollutants | Continuity equations | Vertical loads

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