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The containment of toxic wastes: I. Long term metal movement in soils over a covered metalliferous waste heap at Parc lead-zinc mine, North Wales

, : The containment of toxic wastes: I. Long term metal movement in soils over a covered metalliferous waste heap at Parc lead-zinc mine, North Wales. Environmental Pollution 90(3): 371-377

In order to stabilise and contain a toxic metalliferous waste heap at Parc Mine, North Wales, it was covered with 30-40 cm layer of quarry waste in 1977-1978, and sown with a grass/clover seed mixture. This study has examined subsequent metal movement in the cover material and its effect on vegetation. The results, especially when compared with previous observations, give no evidence of upward migration of metals by capillarity in the cover material. Sideways movement of leachate, however, appears to be carrying the metals into the cover material on the sloping sides, giving rise to increasing concentrations of heavy metals in the vegetation and dieback in some places. Root growth on the flat top of the heap is greater than on the slope, but the roots have not penetrated the waste and the contents of Pb, Zn and Cd in surface vegetation remain low. Surface covering of toxic waste with coarse materials restricting capillary rise is therefore a valid reclamation technique so long as lateral movement of toxic leachate can be controlled.


PMID: 15091471

DOI: 10.1016/0269-7491(95)00010-o

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