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A Case Study at the Campbell Mountain Landfill, Penticton, British Columbia

                                               By Glenn Herold, P. Eng., Landfill Gas Specialist
                                                Sperling Hansen Associates
                                                Vancouver, British Columbia

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) operates the Campbell Mountain Landfill, which is located just outside
of the city of Penticton, British Columbia. One of the ongoing problems at the site has been the existence of a subsurface fire in what is referred to as the North Ravine. The fire has reportedly been the source of several odour complaints received at the site, and has posed a health and safety risk to the staff and general public.

Previous attempts at extinguishing the fire consisted of excavating the material and flooding it with water. Although the cost per attempt was minimal ($5,000-$10,000 per attempt) the success was limited. This approach also created several other problems, which are discussed later in this paper.

Sperling Hansen Associates (SHA) was retained in January 1998 to supervise efforts to permanently extinguish the fire, and prevent any reoccurrence through other means. SHA specializes in the engineering and design of solid waste management facilities, and had previously worked on several RDOS landfills, including the Campbell Mountain Site. Their experience in the waste management field, along with their intimate knowledge of the site, made them the ideal candidate to supervise the project.

In order to ensure that all parties that had been historically involved in the program had the opportunity to provide their input and experience, and advisory board was organized whose purpose was to develop a comprehensive fire suppression plan for the site. Participants of the advisory board including representatives from:

  • The Regional Fire Commissioner's Office
  • The Penticton Fire Department
  • The B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks
  • The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen
  • Kedon Pregressive Waste Systems (site operators, and
  • Sperling Hansen Associates
The purposes of this paper are to describe: (1) the fire suppression plan developed by the advisory board; (2) the construction plan implemented for the installation and monitoring of Phase 1 of the fire suppression plan; and (3) the results of the fire suppression plan to date.


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