Wastewater storage tanks near capacity at landfill

Published: May. 26, 2020 at 5:34 PM EDT
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The region’s recent heavy rainfall is adding up, and that means places like landfills are soaked through, creating lots of extra wastewater.

Tuesday, the Roanoke Valley Resource Authority started using trucks to transport wastewater at the Smith Gap Regional Landfill. Normally they’re able to take everything by train, but this week, they needed a faster way to pump out water.

“I’ve been here 20 years, and this is only like the third time we’ve ever actually had to do this,” Roanoke Valley Resource Authority Operations Director Steven Barger said.

In the three-day rain event, the two leachate storage tanks that hold the wastewater created by the landfill filled up with thousands of gallons of water.

“They’re pretty much at capacity at this point,” Barger said.

The outer ring of the storage tanks is now holding the excess wastewater that can’t fit inside.

“With the truck's help we can catch up and hopefully get the outer rings below the spill way,” Barger said.

RVRA will also be adding an additional pair of railway tanks to pump out the wastewater, to stay ahead of another soggy forecast.

“I don’t know what the rainfall is going to hold, but right now we are feeling pretty confident,” Barger said.

The wastewater removal process is expected to take five days, that is unless mother nature has other plans and soaks the landfill again.

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