SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1990

Biological Activity and Potential Remediation Involving Geotextile Landfill Leachate Filters


This paper presents the results of a biological growth study in geotextile filters used in landfill leachate collection systems. After reviewing the first year's activity, a completely new experimental approach has been taken. Using 100 mm diameter columns for the experimental incubation and flow systems, the effects of six landfill leachates are evaluated. Aerobic and anaerobic states, four different geotextiles, and soil/no soil conditions above the geotextiles are involved in the testing program. This results in 96 individual test columns. Flow data is measured regularly, and over the first six months of evaluation the following trends have been observed. • no clogging (0%–25% flow reduction) 6 of 96 columns = 7% • minor clogging (25%–50% flow reduction) 4 of 96 columns = 4% • moderate clogging (50%–75% flow reduction) 37 of 96 columns = 38% • major clogging (75%–95% flow reduction) 35 of 96 columns = 36% • severe clogging (95%–100% flow reduction) 14 of 96 columns = 15%

For two of the landfill leachates, backflushing has been attempted so as to reinstitute flow. This procedure works well for the geotextile alone while not as well for the geotextile/soil columns. The exception is the nonwoven heat set geotextile. All tests are still ongoing and will be dismantled and further investigated at the end of 12 months exposure time. The experimental setup and procedure has been written up as a tentative ASTM test method and is currently in task group review.

Author Information

Koerner, GR
Koerner, RM
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Developed by Committee: D35
Pages: 313–334
DOI: 10.1520/STP19041S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5139-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1456-2