Despite the increasing use of geotextiles in leachate collection systems, the long-term filtration performance of these materials has yet to be determined. A laboratory testing program was undertaken to investigate biological and particulate clogging of a typical geotextile. Four permeameters modeling a leachate collection system were subjected to flow of municipal landfill leachate under anaerobic conditions. Poisons were utilized in half of the permeameters to inhibit biological activity, thus allowing comparisons to be made between biologically active and inactive systems. Volumetric flow rates decreased 92 to 97% in all permeameters despite increases in applied head from 6.5 to 35.5 cm. Large head losses were observed in the first several centimeters of soil immediately after the flow of leachate was initiated. Head losses over the geotextiles increased as the study progressed, with the unpoisoned geotextiles showing greater clogging.
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