2004 – Canterbury Regional Landfill Water Supply and Sedimentation Dams

Martin Pinkham, Robin Dawson, John Grimston

Resource consents for Christchurch’s existing solid waste disposal facility at Burwood expire in May 2005 and the landfill must close. A new, state-of-the-art regional landfill is under construction at Kate Valley, which will accept solid waste from Christchurch and surrounding districts. Investigations and studies for the landfill have attracted considerable public attention, engaging public groups in discussions through resource consent hearings in 2002 and 2003.

The proposed landfill includes two embankment dams in a cascade arrangement below the landfill. The first is a 19m high sedimentation dam designed to retain silt runoff from the earthworks associated with landfill construction and operation, protecting the health of the stream and environment below the dam. The second is a 9m high dam performing dual roles of storing and supplying water for the landfill earthworks activities, and providing an additional safety buffer for silt control and containment of any accidental release of leachate at the landfill.

While the dams are relatively modest in size, they are being built to very high standards with strict peer review as a result of their association with the landfill project, and to minimise any community and environmental impacts. The design and construction of the landfill and dams is being completed using an innovative modified alliancing arrangement which provides the close working relationship that alliances are renowned for, while minimising up-front financial risk to the owner.

This paper deals with key aspects related to the landfill dams, such as community consultation and expectations, environmental impacts as well as the technical features. Construction is underway for the dams and the landfill at the time of writing of this paper.

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