Scott County may be closer to completing landfill closure

Friday, April 23, 2010

BENTON, Mo. -- Scott County commissioners are hoping the county landfill has passed another benchmark in the long, slow process of closure, the Sikeston Standard Democrat reported.

Commissioners met with Rick Pretz of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Southeast Regional Office in Poplar Bluff, Mo., during Thursday's county commission meeting to discuss a catch basin for the landfill.

The 20-year process of closing the landfill was initiated in 1998, according to Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger. The old landfill is located on the west side of U.S. 61 between Benton and Morley.

Several pipes from the landfill feed into a single pipe which drains the landfill's water, known as "leachate," into the collection basin. When the collection basin gets full the water must be pumped back up onto the landfill property to be reabsorbed through the grass.

While water still comes from this main pipe, "the water's very clear," Pretz said.

Pretz said county officials should now "test the water to see if it's clean or still considered leachate."

County officials are hoping the water is determined to be clean of all contaminants.

"If it is, then we're going to press for closure of our catch basins," Burger said. The county would then not be required to pump the catch basin water back up to the landfill.

"Getting a sample is the first thing we need to do," Burger said, "and we'll send it off to get it tested."

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