Anchoring Alternative Closure Systems

Artificial turf barrier systems combine the well-documented high performance of a geosynthetic capping design with an aesthetic synthetic grass surface. These systems have become an increasingly common way of meeting regulatory requirements in closure designs for landfills, coal ash cells, and other environmentally sensitive containment applications. Solmax’s LiteEarthTM is one of the alternative closure systems being utilized by facilities.

Anchoring Alternative Closure Systems - Solmax LiteEarth

Solmax LiteEarthTM during installation as an alternative closure system on a waste cell. The site had wind uplift concerns, due to the possibility of hurricanes. The cap system was selected for durability, aesthetics, and its fully anchored design.

Not only do these capping systems maintain site aesthetics, effectively and cleanly shed precipitation, and provide long-term cover durability, they can provide a high-end solution for sites characterized by inadequate soil stability, limited borrow soil availability, or environmental precursors to erosion. Essentially, these alternative closure systems provide all the performance of a typical municipal solid waste cap but with a significantly thinner profile.

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ALTERNATIVE CLOSURE SYSTEMS – ANCHORING AGAINST HIGH WIND

One site that utilized the LiteEarthTM system featured an area with extremely fine alluvial soils and windy conditions. The extensive very fine-grained alluvium in the area was not suitable to use either for drainage or vegetative cover material. This was, in fact, a hurricane-affected zone. As such, wind uplift and durability against high wind and precipitation were essential design considerations.

Some artificial turf systems are installed with granular infill used as a ballasting agent for the cap. For the project site here, that approach was questioned due to the possibility of hurricane-force winds that might dislodge sand infill.

LiteEarthTM, however, differs, in that it was developed with these types of challenges in mind. In particular, the fully anchored system sets it apart.

The system is a composite geomembrane/artificial turf capping system, like other alternative closure systems in this design sector. The synthetic grass layer, engineered originally for sports venues and airport facilities, is laminated to a standard Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) geomembrane, a main material in the landfill capping industry. (More than 100 million square feet of Solmax’s LLDPE are installed annually, in fact.) The resulting composite system is fully anchored using a grid of pneumatically driven mechanical soil anchors that are engineered to perform in extreme conditions.

The project site covered a three-acre section of its industrial waste landfill with Solmax’s LiteEarthTM.  The design was estimated to provide a 50+ year service life against the area’s UV exposure. Additional benefits included a dramatically lower capital cost than previous systems considered or used by the facility and a lower life cycle cost than other alternative closure systems considered.

Learn more about LiteEarthTM and other Solmax technologies at www.solmax.com.

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