Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Last time I talked about the different tours Esther and I have been giving. Well we had a tour last week that wasn't so great. It was an elementary school, fourth graders I think. Well apparently one of the kids got car sick while on the bus ride here, and she threw up outside of my office...and it was projectile. One of the teachers cleaned it up, but used a Clorox cleaner, so my office smelled like a swimming pool for the rest of the afternoon...not so fun.

I've been working on drawing a Process and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) for our gas/leachate lines. In the process of doing that, we opened the valve box for one of our leachate/condensation injection lines and found that the box was half full of condensate. Now keep in mind, this is a bottomless box. That means that it had been leaking in it long enough to create a biofilm across the bottom of the box so that the liquid could not percolate through the soil. Luckily it's on the lined part of the landfill so we're not breaking any regulations. That was quite the mess, and quite the smell. We're still trying to figure out the problem with it. It looks like there was a small leak in the runoff line coming from the Public Convenience Center (PCC) but that was replaced and condensate and/or leachate is still leaking in. I'm afraid the drainfield has failed. If that's the case, we're going to need to install a new drainfield.
Here it is after most of it being pumped out.
Last week, Esther and I had the opportunity to go to the Recycling Coalition of Utah (RCU) Conference. It was interesting to talk to various people from the state that are also recycling oriented. There were people from recycling companies, landfills, to retail stores. We talked about what we could do to further promote recycling and how we could possibly change legislation to promote recycling practices. It was pretty interesting.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We've been doing a lot of tours lately. Usually it'll be elementary students on field trips or cub scout groups. It's nice to be able to tell them about the landfill, how it works, and the importance of recycling. We try and emphasize the recycling part the most. For me, one of the funnest parts is driving the shuttle. We have a shuttle bus that we purchased from a nearby retirement home, and it's a blast to cruise around in at the landfill.
The engines are finally back online. We're generating electricity again. Esther and I went out and serviced a couple of the knockout pumps and balanced some of the wells, so the engines should be getting good quality gas. They were struggling at first, generating barely over 3 MW at full bore. But we got most of the lines drained of condensate and they're running at around 3.5 MW without having to be full bore.
I think I've got my riprap channel completely designed. I'm just waiting for when we have an operator available to dress the channel and when I can purchase the riprap. I need to put more pictures up. Pictures are more interesting that words.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

So I found out I have allergies. Esther and I went out and spread seeds of native vegetation on various parts of the landfill to help with the aesthetics and erosion. We both had buckets we'd fill with the mix of seeds and would would spread the seeds by hand. By the time we were done, my arms were covered in rashes and I was sneezing like crazy (sorry, I don't have pictures.) Luckily, they went away relatively soon after I got back to the office and washed my hands.

A flow meter was recently installed so we can confirm that the pump I installed last year is pumping all the way to the drain field. I've been watching it lately and am happy to say the pump is working great! There's a trench in the bottom of the active cell, right next to the leachate pond, with a perforated pipe running along the bottom. The trench fills up with leachate before overflowing into the leachate pond. The pump I installed is in the pipe at the bottom of the trench and pumps leachate into a drainfield in the adjacent cell. This, hopefully, will help with decomposition and gas production in the adjacent cell.

This is me last year with the pump.

These are the flow meters and valves near the drainfield. The bottom one goes to my pump.

When I'm not out checking meters and getting rashes, I've been creating a map, with AutoCAD, of the various easements at the landfill. It's been a lot of interpreting legal documents and drawing the map according to the metes and bounds. It's almost like a game...maybe not.

Monday, May 11, 2009

So the first week went by pretty much without a hitch, and I do have quite the list of things to do. One thing I've done already is some leachate sampling from our leachate pond. That is always...fun?

Since I was already in the sampling mood, I figured "what the hey, I'll sample the compost as well.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

First Days Back

So I'm back at the landfill. I'm doing another engineering internship for Trans-Jordan Cities, like I did last summer. It's only been four days and I already have a lot to do and look forward to. Everything from verifying the quitclaim deed to installing rip rap for erosion control. It should keep me very busy the entire summer.