Aquifer pollution puts Devon landfill under the microscope

The National Rivers Authority (NRA) appears to have netted another catch in its search for leaky landfills. It is investigating a Devon landfill after detecting organic chemicals in the local aquifer and a private drinking water supply. The operation appears to be in breach of EC groundwater protection rules.

The NRA's investigation is focussed on Higher Kiln landfill, near Tiverton. The site is operated by Haul-Waste, a subsidiary of English China Clays. It is unlined and has been run as a "dilute and disperse" operation since the 1940s. The local geology is a complex series of porous limestones and shales.

Devon County Council believes that the site accepted oils and chrome wastes from the tanning industry in its early years. Oil was detecte

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