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Stronger pipes set at landfill

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Double-walled pipeline is to replace single-wall pipeline at Cedar Ridge Landfill where contaminated water leaked and polluted Vickrey Spring just south of the Waste Management facility last spring.

That's among the "voluntary" steps the company is taking to stop and prevent the pollution of ground water that emerges at the spring, near Poteet Road, according to landfill spokeswoman Terri Douglas who's written to Marshall County Commissioners.

Leachate, soiled water flowing from garbage, was flowing in a pipe that broke and was put out of use. Now, landfill employees "will replace 1,200 feet of single-walled pipeline containing the failure point with double-walled HDPE (high-density polyethylene) containment pipe," Douglas said.

And while monitoring of the spring and the creek continues, the water is clean, she says.

The company has focused on that issue and temporarily set aside its work on the application to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for expansion of the landfill. TDEC's consideration of the expansion permit request is stalled as officials in Nashville await answers from the company on those separate issues.

Meanwhile, County Commissioner Don Ledford, chairman of the county's Solid Waste Committee, has described Douglas' letter to the commissioners as "very amusing...

"Her terminology does not coincide with what happened, based on the information I have," Ledford said. "According to the letter, they did everything voluntarily."

He further alleges, "They tried to persuade residents that their septic tanks were leaking."

Confronted with Ledford's statement, Waste Management Business Development Director Robert Cheney said a spring water capture program was voluntary. It was submitted to the state for its approval.

Company officials initially thought septic tank failure was the cause, Cheney said. Lewisburg utility officials agreed, but lab tests showed otherwise and remediation began.

County Solid Waste Director Morgan Thomas said, "They sent me a big huge notebook of information about what went on and anybody's welcome to see it if they want to come by my office in Hardison Annex."