Geosyntec Receives 2010 Engineering Excellence Award for Engineered Wetlands for Sustainable Leachate Management
ATLANTA, Ga. — Geosyntec Consultants received a 2010 Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia and the Georgia Engineering Alliance for the design of an Engineered Wetlands System for Sustainable Leachate Management at the Timberlands Landfill in Brewton, Ala. The Timberlands Landfill is owned and operated by Republic Services, Inc., (Republic) one of the largest municipal solid waste disposal companies in North America. Geosyntec, the prime consultant, teamed with AQUA Treatment Technologies of Ontario, Canada, who provided design support and construction oversight.
Treatment and disposal of leachate is one of the largest operating costs for most municipal solid waste landfills. The Geosyntec team designed and implemented a full-scale engineered wetlands system, which treats high-strength leachate from an active landfill to meet surface water discharge standards. The engineering behind the project included the selection and design of a unique combination of surface and subsurface biological natural treatment processes. The total construction and operational cost of the system was significantly less than the cost of a conventional treatment alternative. The project has demonstrated environmental sustainability through elimination of trucking, low energy consumption, and the use of natural processes.
"The concept of the innovative subsurface-flow system, which was conceived and implemented for this engineered wetlands system, is unique for this application, and this concept greatly reduces the amount of land required to implement constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment," explains Dr. Herwig Goldemund, Geosyntec project manager. "In addition to high treatment efficiencies and compactness, the system allows for winter operations, which makes this unique technology transferable to other sites throughout the country, which may otherwise be limited by climatic conditions."
"The Geosyntec team, led by Dr. Herwig Goldemund, performed admirably during every stage of this project, consistently demonstrating their understanding of a complex set of regulatory, technical, construction, and operational challenges. Permitting of such a system was especially complex due the novelty of the approach, which was not familiar to the regulatory agency, and was expected to receive public and regulatory scrutiny," notes Marcos Elizondo, Director of Engineering and Environmental Management, Republic Services, Inc. (South Region). "The success of this project venture is largely due to the innovation and technical excellence provided by Geosyntec, and their commitment to continually advance the state of the practice."