State nearly done at old county landfill
While Morgan County’s dump hasn’t accepted trash for the last
18 years, its final official closure is still months away.
Work began early last month to cap the dump and install pipes and collection tanks for groundwater that might flow through the garbage buried underground.
Morgan County’s dump, located near the intersection of Detour Road and Milo School Road in Great Cacapon, closed in August 1993 when new landfill regulations went into effect statewide.
The local dump was not lined, and could not meet the new environmental rules for landfills.
The current $3.3 million dollar closure project is paid for by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, under their Landfill Closure Assistance Program (LCAP). That program is funded by tipping fees at active dumps across the state.
Cap and collect water
Project Supervisor Mark Church said there are two main priorities for work at the local dump.
The first is to collect any leachate water (water that has come into contact with garbage) by installing drain lines around the perimeter of the six-acre dump.
Those lines will empty into tanks, which will be emptied regularly. The collected water will be taken to the sewer plant in Berkeley Springs for processing, Church said.
In order to keep water from flowing through the garbage from above, workers will put a plastic cap, made of high-density polyethylene, over the landfill. Two feet of dirt will cover the cap.
The cap, drain lines and tanks must stay in place for 30 years after the official closure, said Church.
Triad Engineering of Winchester, Va. has designed the closure system for Morgan County’s dump and will oversee the work.
A.L.L. Construction, Inc. of Mount Storm, W. Va. was awarded the project in April. They have a year to complete the work.
Wells monitor water quality
Four monitoring wells around the dump site will give state officials samples of the groundwater once the cap and drain lines are installed.
Church said monitoring wells were already on the site – one above the dump and others below it. He said there have been no indications of groundwater contamination since the dump closed 18 years ago.
More than 30 dumps have applied for help under the landfill closure program, and they have been capped according to their priority level.
Church said Morgan County’s dump, because it is in a remote location and showed no indication of contaminating groundwater, had to wait its turn for the state’s intervention.