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Geosynthetics in Landfill – Whitehead Case Study

Seepage Control & Membrane Protection

Project Information


Viridor Waste Management


Cheetham Hill Construction


Wardell Armstrong

Product Functions

Drainage & Protection


A design problem at Whitehead Landfill arose in the preparation of a side slope to part of a waste cell. To optimise land usage, the side of the waste cell would be constructed close to an existing canal where the average water level would be well above the cell base.

It was considered prudent to introduce a positive cut-off drain to intercept seepage from the canal and prevent a build-up in pore water pressure beneath the liner. This would cause uplift to the mineral and geomembrane liner.

GPT5, a geocomposite drain, was laid down the cell slope, leading to a stone drain at the toe. GPT5 is a non-woven needlepunched geotextile with longitudinal band drain inclusions at regular centres across the width of the roll. This type of geotextile in unique in having a level of in-plane flow capacity which means that it acts as a secondary drain feeding the primary band drains.

The clay liner was compacted on top of the drain to ensure that seepage would be channeled to the band drains.

GPT products are simple to install and require the minimum depth of valuable void space required for waste. These products are sufficiently durable to withstand the high level of compaction to achieve the clay's specified density.

GEOfabrics HPS14 was chosen as the optimum geotextile to protect the 2mm HDPE geomembrane from puncture by the coarse leachate drainage stone chosen by the contractor. This was confirmed by a cylinder test as required by The Environment Agency.

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