Growth Response and Performance Monitoring

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Ecowaste Industries Limited

SYLVIS is working with Ecowaste Industries in order to design and implement innovative solutions for landfill leachate treatment at the Ecowaste Landfill. Leachate is produced when rain water infiltrates the landfill and takes up the organic and inorganic constituents from the waste stored within. Building on synergies with final land use and recycling objectives, a land treatment program incorporating soil fabrication and establishment of a plant system was developed to effectively reduce the levels of contaminants found in the leachate.

In order to assess system performance and ensure regulatory compliance, a comprehensive monitoring program has been developed by SYLVIS in order to evaluate the level of treatment as the leachate passes through the soil-plant system and to monitor the impacts of leachate on soil and vegetation. The program includes weekly measurements of ammonia nitrogen concentrations before and after land treatment and tracking of leachate volumes applied to the system. The program also involves quarterly collection of treated and partially treated leachate samples for more detailed water quality analysis by an independent third party laboratory, including nutrients, trace elements and suspended solids. Annual soil sampling is conducted to ensure ongoing soil health.  The response of vegetation to the leachate is determined through yearly vegetative analysis testing for adequate plant nutrition and the accumulation of potentially toxic chemicals in plant tissues; growth response parameters such as tree height and biomass growth provide an additional indicator of plant health.

The results of the monitoring program are presented to the client in annual reports, completed by SYLVIS, which summarize the work carried out at the site and provide recommendations based on the analyzed data. The monitoring results show that nutrient concentrations in the leachate are effectively reduced through the soil-plant treatment system. To date, no detrimental accumulation of trace elements has been observed in plant tissues or soil, with vegetation showing normal growth rates. Through ongoing monitoring of the leachate, soil and vegetation, SYLVIS is ensuring that the project’s leachate treatment objectives are being met in a manner that is sustainable and protective of the environment.