ACC President/ CEO Murray K. Griffin, P.E. presented on Leachate Management in Georgia at the Georgia Chapter of SWANA’s Spring Conference held at the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa on April 18-20, 2016. A survey was conducted by ACC and results were received for 27 of the operating lined MSW landfills and 5 closed lined MSW landfills. According to the survey, 15 sites (47%) currently haul untreated leachate to Publicly Owned Treatment Works facilities (POTW). Three sites (9%) haul untreated leachate to privately owned treatment plants. Somewhat surprisingly, only 6 sites (19%) are currently recirculating leachate back into the landfill. Other sites are permitted for recirculation but have chosen to not recirculate at this time. Eleven sites (34%) discharge untreated leachate directly to a sanitary sewer. Two sites (6%) discharges pre-treated leachate directly to a sanitary sewer. Two sites (6%) currently handle their leachate onsite using the ROCHEM Landfill Leachate System.
The SWANA Landfill Management Technical Division did a similar survey last year which returned 180 responses from across the US. The SWANA survey found that 47% of the sites discharge untreated leachate to a POTW, 13% discharge pretreated leachate to a POTW, 18% treat their leachate onsite, and 22% do something else. Comparing the SWANA survey results to the Georgia survey concluded that a much larger percentage of landfills in other states are either pretreating or treating their leachate onsite. ACC believes that leachate pretreatment or onsite leachate treatment will be required for most sites within the next 5-10 years.