Can Clay Liners Prevent Migration of Toxic Leachate

by Allen Morrison, Asst. Ed.; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1981, Vol. 51, Issue 7, Pg. 60-63

Document Type: Feature article


According to recent research, low permeability clay barriers, used by landfill operators to contain hazardous wastes, can be rendered highly permeable by certain aggressive chemicals including certain caustics and solvents. The following subjects are reviewed: failure modes for chemical landfills, state-of-the-art landfill design, and the recent research, which suggests that clay liners may be vulnerable to the waste mixtures which are indiscriminately disposed of in such landfills. Alternative methods of waste treatment are described. The effects of chemicals on clay soils and their implications for landfill designers and operators are also explored.

Subject Headings: Clay liners | Soil pollution | Clays | Toxicity | Leachates

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