Finding a Better Cover

by Stephen F. Dwyer, Principal Investigator; Envir. Restoration Tech. Dept., Sandia National Lab., Albuquerque, NM,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2001, Vol. 71, Issue 1, Pg. 58-63

Document Type: Feature article


An ongoing field test at Sandia National Laboratories, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, compares a basic soil and a compacted clay landfill cover currently prescribed by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations with four alternative covers. After its first three years, the study suggests that a simple soil landfill cover, the least expensive and easiest to install, is better suited to dry climates than the EPA covers. The least satisfactory cover appears to be one that uses a geosynthetic clay liner cover instead of compacted clay as an alternative to one of the two EPA covers.

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