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Mansfield landfill problems fixed with $1.8 million upgrade

LITTLE VALLEY – Problems with leaks in the leachate pond at the Five Points landfill in Mansfied have been remedied with a nearly $1.8 million upgrade of the site, Cattaraugus County officials said last week.

For a few years, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has been pushing county public works personnel to find a solution and remedy leaks in the leachate pond, the collection facility for the contaminated water from other areas. When liquid from a landfill filters down through the ground and seeps into the soil, it has to be collected and transferred to a safe facility such as Five Points.

But according to Mark Burr, director of engineering for the county, the 750,000- to 800,000-gallon capacity pond was leaking into the ground, possibly reintroducing contaminants into the soil.

The entire facility underwent an upgrade, including the lining of the pond. Other improvements also were implemented.

For example, drivers previously delivering liquid to the pond would have to climb onto the top of the tanker truck to insert the tubing to pump it into the basin. That, in itself, caused a concern.

“Drivers climbing up there isn’t too bad, until you think about it being done in 10-degree weather, with snow coming down,” Burr said.

In addition, only five loads could be handled at the facility per day.

With the renovation, the driver only has to climb up to open the top of the truck to act as a vent while the 6-inch tube uses gravity to feed the water into the pond. The unloading also is aided by a new delivery system attached to a control panel that increases the flow rate for the process, as well. The new process also can accommodate up to seven trucks a day.

The entire project, completed, is coming in right around $165,000 under the $1.8 million budget.