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Action on leaking landfill

EMMA GOODWIN
Last updated 15:30 14/06/2012

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Steps have been taken to stem the flow of toxic leachate from the Awapuni landfill in Palmerston North.

In May it was revealed that leachate from the landfill had been seeping into the Mangaone Stream and on into the Manawatu River.

Leachate from the lined landfill is collected and taken to the city's wastewater treatment plant.

An independent groundwater scientist and a landfill specialist were contracted to compile a report containing information about what was in the landfill, when material was dumped there, the landfill design and the leachate collection, treatment and discharge system. The original unlined landfill started operating in 1951 and was operational until 1995 when it was replaced by a lined extension, which was used until 2007.

Science and water quality manager Jon Royguard said that more surface water sampling had been completed at 15 sites in the vicinity of the landfill during two low-flow periods.

A further set of samples of the leachate and some other key locations has also been completed in late May. The results of this additional work will be written up in a separate follow-up document that is likely to be available in July.

Testing is continuing around the Higgins site and Mangaone Stream.

Dr Royguard said Palmerston North City Council put in place work to remedy the leaking.

"We have advised them of some remedial action and they have got to it very quickly."

The final report will be made public in August.

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- Manawatu Standard

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