SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1985

A Laboratory Comparison of the Effects of Water and Waste Leachate on the Performance of Soil Liners


A study was conducted to determine the performance of two compacted native soils and the soils plus a commercial additive when exposed to specific paper mill waste leachates. Fluids produced from actual paper mill wastes were used in accelerated (high-pressure), anaerobic permeability tests with two disposal site soils and the soils with a beneficient added. Comparison tests measuring hydraulic conductivity were performed to determine behavioral differences of the candidate soil liners with the waste leachate and water. Test results were used to evaluate waste impacts on soil and on the soil plus a commercial additive. Emphasis was placed on identifying fatal flaws in expected field linear performance.

Test results indicated that the two soils tested were effective in containing the paper mill waste leachates. One soil physically contained the waste leachates by providing an impermeable barrier (K = << 10−7 cm/s). The other soil, while not providing as strong a physical barrier, (K = 10−7 cm/s), did contain the leachate through chemical attenuation of the trace contaminants in the leachate. While the commercial additive improved the impervious barrier characteristics of this soil, it was determined to be optional. Both mechanisms of containment will be effective in providing protection of groundwater resources below a nonhazardous waste landfill.

Author Information

Eklund, AG
Physical Chemistry Div., Radian Corp., Austin, TX
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 188–202
DOI: 10.1520/STP34578S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4939-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0417-4