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

The Drilling Program.
There are several special safety considerations that apply when drilling on a landfill site. Since there was also an underground refuse fire, the number of special considerations increased. Some of the most important considerations included:

  • Ground conditions may contain cavities that can give way under the weight of a drill rig.
  • Methane gas is explosive between 5-15% by volume, which is well within a typical concentration range found in landfill sites (40-60% by volume).
  • Hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide, which were both detected at the site, are toxic at sufficient concentrations.
In order to provide a flat and stable working base for the drill rig, a construction firm who was familiar with the design and construction of roadways under similar conditions was retained to install a series of access ramps along the face of the north ravine. The thickness and design of the access ramp pad was sufficient to support a truck mounted drill rig. The application of the material was accomplished by pushing the material from the top of the ravine, rather than by directly dumping the loads onto the work area, as the load distribution of a wide track dozer is substantially less than that of a truck.

A auger rig was used to execute the drilling contract because they have the lowest risk of creating sparks that can ignite the venting methane gas, and unlike air rotary rigs, they do not inject air into the refuse. High volume ventilation equipment was used in the working area in order to dilute any methane emissions venting through the borehole to below explosive levels.

All workers were required to follow the protocols laid out in a detailed Health and Safety Plan (HASP) created for the project. The HASP included, among other things, the following:

  • Training requirements for the workers, which included Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) training and first aid instruction
  • The requirement to designate a safety officer for the project.
  • Details on safety equipment to be worn and hazards that may encountered.
  • Emergency response procedures


      next page the drilling program continued