Landfarming Hydrocarbon Wastes
This report was produced for the Urban Water Research Association of Australia, a now discontinued research program.
Report no. UWRAA 32
Landfarming is the controlled application of an oily or biological waste to a land area in order to utilise the soil’s natural degradation processes to convert the waste into a more environmentally acceptable form. The Urban Water Research Association of Australia and the Brisbane City Council have jointly funded this project at the Willawong Liquid Waste Treatment Plant sited in Willawong, Brisbane, in order to investigate the properties of landfarming oily waste as an alternative disposal option.
Trial plots were examined over a two year period during which the use of natural systems to degrade oily waste, the effect of phenolic degreasers, and possible soil improvements were monitored.
These trials illustrate the viability of landfarming as a disposal option for relatively clean oily wastes, as well as those contaminated with degreasers. The repeated controlled application of these wastes and the promotion of the naturally occurring microbiological processes is sufficient to reduce the hydrocarbon matter to environmentally acceptable levels and promote some soil improvements. Increases in salinity and heavy metal accumulation were also observed over this trial period.