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Limestone liners to protect groundwater quality against organic wastewater seepage

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Crushed limestone was tested as a sealing liner for organic wastewater storage facilities. This material was compacted in laboratory columns and exposed in quadruplet to three levels of wastewater total solids (TS of 0.6, 1.3 and 2.6%). A fourth set of quadruple columns was used to monitor the total nitrogen (TN) loading rate using 1.3% TS wastewater. The crushed limestone cores measured 310 mm in depth by 98 mm in diameter and were exposed to a typical wastewater depth of 290 mm. Wastewater TS and ambient temperatures had a marked effect on seepage and TN loading rates. If the wastewater contains at least 1.3% TS, the seepage and N loading rate can be limited to 2 × 10-8 m s-1 and 200 mgN m-2 d-1, respectively. Ambient temperatures below 5 °C caused the TN loading rate to increase 7 fold, while those above 5 °C favoured nitrifying and denitrifying activity, thereby reducing seepage TN.

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Barrington, S.F., Hengnirun, S. Limestone liners to protect groundwater quality against organic wastewater seepage. Water Air Soil Pollut 92, 315–327 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00283565

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Key words

  • liner
  • limestone
  • wastewater