Counting the costs of leaking landfills

Failures in the UK's landfill practices were highlighted in February as threats to surface and groundwaters from three East Anglian sites emerged into the open. A Peterborough landfill, licensed 12 years ago, is polluting a drinking water borehole with pesticide, while two sites in Suffolk are undergoing emergency remediation to protect local rivers from leachate. Protecting drinking and surface waters from the three sites will cost about £2.5 million.

Anglian Water's Etton borehole began to show rising levels of the herbicide mecoprop in 1987. Concentrations reached 3.9µg/l in late 1990, well above the EC drinking water limit of 0.1µg/l, prompting the company to take the aquifer out of supply.

The source, which supplies 40,000 people in the north Peterborough area, is now back in service with a granular activated carbon plant (GAC) to reduce pesticide levels. According to A

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