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Landfill Management


    BTSL has a complete environment protection system based on implementation of the following system components:
    Surface water management plan
    Leachate management plan
    Environmental monitoring
    Early warning and emergency containment system

    A state-of-the-art leachate treatment plant is in place to treat leachate output from the landfill. The plant is based primarily on biological reaction with a series of chemical dosing to achieve the required leachate treatment standards. It is equipped with 4 sequential batch reactor (SBR) lagoons, 24 aerators, chemical storage and dosing system, balancing tanks, sludge thickener and a dissolved air flotation plant. The SCADA system controls all the pumps and valves, enabling the plant to operate automatically. The plant has a treatment capacity in excess of 1,000 cubic meters per day for methanogenic leachate.

    Treated leachate is conveyed to the reed beds for final polishing. The reed beds consist of Phragmites plant capable of absorbing residues in the treated leachate to further improve its quality. BTSL is the first and only landfill in the region using the reed beds polishing process.

    4 leachate holding-ponds on site provide 180,000 cubic meters leachate storage capacity to attenuate peak flows during wet seasons. The holding ponds also provide leachate storage when the leachate treatment plant is undergoing maintenance.

    Surface or storm water run-off is diverted away from active landfill phases and channelled through surface drains toward open water-courses, silt traps and detention ponds.

    Earth cover is applied daily over compacted waste to prevent infiltration of rain water into the leachate collection system and avoid formation of excess leachate.

    Regular desilting of the silt traps are carried out to maintain surface water quality.

    Effective leachate management is a crucial part of tropical landfill operation. BTSL monitors leachate production, storage and treatment rates closely through its proprietary leachate management system to determine current and future storage and treatment requirements.

    BTSL maintains 4 leachate holding-ponds for storage and pre-treatment of raw leachate. The total storage capacity of the ponds is 180,000 cubic meters, making it the largest storage system in the region. A large holding capacity provides a fail-safe system, allowing excess leachate storage in wet season when leachate production may exceed the treatment rate.

    The leachate management system provides early warning and enables pre-emptive action to address storage requirements. It also helps operators determine the timing for future upgrade of the leachate treatment plant.

    BTSL employs a zero-discharge policy on treated effluent. Treated effluent, which has reached standards allowing discharge into open water-courses, are irrigated in a 120-acre field instead of discharging into open water-courses.

    This allows the treated effluent to be absorbed through evapotranspiration and soil moisture retention, promoting optimum protection to the environment.

    Daily, weekly and fortnightly tests are carried out to obtain different parameters of both raw and treated leachate. This provides regular review of raw leachate characteristics over time, and changes in quality of treated effluent as treatment regime progresses.

    Daily Treated Effluent Tests
    Daily tests on treated leachate are carried out at the SBR lagoons to ensure successful treatment. Based on the tests, treatment rate and strategy can be adjusted for subsequent treatment cycles. Daily tests are conducted to obtain readings for: pH, Ammoniacal nitrogen, Nitrates, Nitrites, and Dissolved oxygen.

    Weekly Treated Leachate Tests in SBR Lagoons and Reed Beds
    Weekly treated effluent tests are carried out at the treated leachate-balancing tank (TLBT) and irrigation discharge chamber (IDC) to assess long-term effectiveness of the SBR lagoons and reed beds.

    Fortnightly Raw and Treated Leachate Tests
    Raw and treated leachate are sent to independent laboratories fortnightly for extensive testing. The result is submitted as part of the Environment Monitoring Report and used for long-term study of leachate characteristics progression. These samples are taken at all raw leachate holding ponds and treated leachate chambers.

    Surface water and groundwater quality monitoring tests are carried out monthly at BTSL. Nitrites, pH, ammonia, e-coli, suspended solids and trace metals are among the major parameters tested.

    Other Monitoring Requirements
    Ambient air quality and noise levels are monitored quarterly for submission to the Department of Environment in the Quarterly Environment Monitoring Report. These reports also contain the closely monitored parameters stated above.


    BTSL is equipped with an emergency response system and leachate containment bund to prevent accidental leachate break-out into external water-courses. Leachate is held within the bund to enable remedial works to be undertaken. This safety measure surpasses the requirement of the Department of Environment, and includes the following components:
    Continuous flow meter at monitoring bund
    Detention dam for upper catchment
    Containmment bund at leachate treatment plant and holding ponds
    Monitoring Bund
    The monitoring bund is also a detention dam to detain contaminated flow detected by the flow meter. Contaminated water is conveyed to the raw leachate holding ponds by return pumps at the monitoring bund pump chamber.

    Containment Bund
    The bund has a containment capacity of 100,000 cubic meters. It is operated by gate valve for isolation in the event of accidental spillage or breach of raw leachate.