Term Project Outline

CE394K Surface Water Hydrology
University of Texas at Austin

Hydrologic and Design Factors Affecing the Production of Landfill Leachate

by Karen E. Schmitt

The objectives of this project are the following:

To accomplish my objectives I am going to use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's software model HELP - Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance. Once I have gathered the requisite input information, I will complete an independent water balance exercise to "calibrate" the model. The HELP model uses Soil Conservation Service curve numbers to predict runoff and models infiltration as I = P- E- Runoff- dS. I would like to compare that method with other methods learned in class this semester (Green-Ampt, if applicable, etc.). I would further like to compare calculations made by the HELP model, which uses daily precipitation values, to calculations made by considering the duration and intensity of individual rainfall events.

As input to the HELP model and the separate calibration procedure, I will need the following data for Austin (from as yet unknown sources):

Other input parameters will be based on suggested data given in the HELP model and in the Applied Hydrology textbook. Design data will be based on my own experience with soils and landfills.

Once the model is up an running, I hope to do a small parametric study to evaluate the effects of hydrologic factors such as evapotranspiration, runoff, and soil moisture on the infiltration and subsequent leachate generation in landfills. Furthermore, I would like to study the effects of design variables such as cover slope angle, liner type, and liner thickness on the amount of leachate generated.

At the end of the project, I hope to have accomplished the following:

I can be reached at k.schmitt@mail.utexas.edu