FLORENCE — The city has hired a new consulting engineer to work on a mystery that has, so far, eluded everyone who has tried to crack the case.
Joyce Engineering, of Greensboro, N.C., has been awarded a $7,500 contract by the city to study an anomaly in the groundwater flow at the now-closed municipal solid waste landfill.
“They will offer their opinion on what they think is going on, and why it’s doing what it’s doing,” said David Koonce, director of the city Public Works Department, which oversees landfill operations.
A northern corner of the municipal solid waste landfill, which was closed a year ago, is showing unusual groundwater flow that engineers have been unable to explain. That’s a concern because leachate from the buried garbage could be getting into nearby springs and Cypress Creek, from which the city draws a significant portion of its drinking water.
Dye tests conducted a year ago showed groundwater flowing through a corner of the landfill in a direction not consistent with the flow in the rest of the landfill. That has gotten the attention of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, which ordered the dye tests.
The water anomaly could affect the cost of closure and monitoring of the landfill during the next 30 years, depending on what is required to contain and mitigate the problem.
Robert Palmer can be reached at 256-740-5720 or robert.palmer@TimesDaily.com.