Butler County Landfill

Butler County Landfill

Location: El Dorado, Kan.

Client: Butler County, Kan.

Burns & McDonnell provides full-service engineering and environmental services for the Butler County Sanitary Landfill. In 1995, Burns & McDonnell completed site selection, engineering design and permitting for a 70-acre expansion of the landfill. The expansion involved the addition of approximately 7,500,000 cubic yards of landfill capacity to provide the county with more than 60 years of landfill capacity. Burns & McDonnell also completed construction oversight and construction quality assurance for the first two landfill cells (Areas 1A and 2A).


Major issues associated with the expansion of the landfill were investigated, including geotechnical investigations of the expansion areas and potential environmental impacts. The preferred landfill option was a horizontal expansion 50 feet south of the existing landfill. Burns & McDonnell performed extensive geological and geotechnical investigation of the proposed site. A hydrogeologic report for the site was developed and used to compile a Subtitle D groundwater monitoring plan.

Due to detections of volatile organics in monitoring wells adjacent to the old landfill, Burns & McDonnell is working with the county and with KDHE to complete a Release Assessment Program for the site. Appendix II sampling was performed on selected groundwater monitoring wells, and direct push technology was utilized to delineate the extent of the plume in the subsurface. The extent and nature of the groundwater impact was fully characterized by a thorough review of historical and new data.

Permitting and Design

Burns & McDonnell prepared the landfill operating permit application and associated engineering drawings to expand the landfill life by approximately 60 years. Features of the expansion include a composite liner system, leachate collection, a leachate force main, gas collection and stormwater management facilities. The landfill design also included a leachate recirculation system.

In 2002, Burns & McDonnell completed engineering design and construction observation services for a landfill gas extraction system for both the pre-Subtitle D and Subtitle D landfills. The combined extraction system withdraws landfill gas from the perimeter of the pre-Subtitle D landfill and the leachate collection and leachate recirculation trenches in the Subtitle-D landfill. The system also included an automatic leachate recovery system in the pre-Subtitle D landfill gas extraction wells.

Construction Services

Burns & McDonnell prepared the construction documents and associated engineering drawings for the first two landfill cells (Areas 1A and 2A) and has provided the County with assistance during the bidding phase of the project. Burns & McDonnell is providing construction phase services including field oversight, approval of submittals, and construction quality assurance for the first landfill cell. Burns & McDonnell was able to permit and begin construction of the landfill within 12 months of beginning the project.

Compliance Monitoring

Burns & McDonnell provides full service compliance monitoring assistance to Butler County.  Compliance monitoring assistance includes annual groundwater monitoring, and air permitting-related services. In addition, Burns & McDonnell developed a groundwater monitoring plan for the site. The groundwater monitoring plan summarizes the geologic and hydrogeologic data pertaining to the site, and outlines the monitoring well system and other relevant background information. The plan provides instructions for completing the field sampling, laboratory analysis, reporting, data validation, and statistical analysis.

Burns & McDonnell performs the groundwater sampling and reporting for Butler County's assessment monitoring program. A team of professionals experienced in groundwater issues combine their efforts to complete the variety of tasks associated with routine groundwater monitoring. These tasks include field sampling, laboratory data validation, statistical analysis, and reporting.

Leachate monitoring is completed annually to assure that chemical concentrations in the leachate remain at acceptable levels for discharge to the local POTW. Gas monitoring at the landfill boundary is done quarterly to assure that decomposition gases are at acceptable limits.

Solid Waste Management Plan

Burns & McDonnell was also retained by Butler County in 1999 to assist in preparing a 10-year comprehensive solid waste management plan in accordance with regulations administered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Burns & McDonnell assisted in the preparation of a KDHE grant application for partial funding of the plan.

Butler County is the largest county in Kansas by land area, and has a population of approximately 53,000. The western portion of the county consists of “bedroom” communities that provide workers to nearby industries and businesses in the city of Wichita. The eastern portion of the county, however, is characterized by rural, agricultural communities.

Because the existing Butler County landfill would require closure approximately 2.5 years after commencement of the solid waste management plan, one of the County's main concerns is waste disposal. It was predetermined that any final disposal option would involve solid waste recycling and composting to reduce the quantity of waste. Other disposal options included construction of a RCRA Subtitle D landfill, building a transfer station to haul the waste outside the county to an approved disposal facility, or construction of a combined materials recovery facility (MRF) and transfer station with use of a remote landfill. Based on economic, liability, and local control analyses, the County elected to construct a new Subtitle D landfill.

The plan included cost estimates of the recommended plan (including public education, recycling, composting, and landfill components), a capital improvement budget, a two-year operating budget, an implementation schedule, and a recommended solid waste reduction goal of 20 percent by 2005.