Saving Money by Saving Steps at a Wyoming LandfillWe always say we safeguard our clients’ dollars like our own at Burns & McDonnell. Diligence and open communication can go a long way in making sure our clients get the most from their investment. In Campbell County, Wyo., it did that and more by demonstrating a previously defined project was no longer needed — saving taxpayers nearly $1 million.

A client since 2007, Campbell County was midway through a build-out of an existing landfill. Two additional leachate ponds were part of the next phase. Before moving forward, the county tested a new evaporation system at one of its existing ponds. It worked well; so well in fact that — encouraged by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality — the county and our team re-evaluated how the success of the pilot initiative affected the project as a whole.

New Data Tells a New Story

In the pilot program, a forced evaporation process pumped water onto a black plastic liner to increase the evaporation rate by an estimated 1 million additional gallons per year. We applied the county’s new data and evaluated the previous model. The technical analysis demonstrated the existing ponds, using the forced evaporation process, would serve future phases.

That $1 million earmarked to construct two new leachate ponds was no longer necessary. The new solutions — lift stations and an evaporative system — cost less than $200,000, yielding significant savings for county taxpayers.

Savings Worth Celebrating

It’s the kind of win-win we’re particularly proud of — a team effort with a financial payoff for the client. Phillip Giffin, engineering services manager for the Campbell County Public Works Department, agrees. “It created some synergies between Campbell County, Burns & McDonnell and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality,” he said.

“Burns & McDonnell developed a good budget analysis that helped in our discussions with the DEQ. When you see this kind of success as the result of open communication between the regulator and us and good professionals like Burns & McDonnell, it’s something to celebrate.”

Josh Lee is a senior civil engineer in the environmental division of Burns & McDonnell in Denver. He has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Valparaiso University and is a member of the Solid Waste Association of North America.

Other Posts You Might Like

Landfill Sustainability: Pulling the Plug on Leachate

Water Balance Covers: A Better Way to Close Many Western Landfills