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Batavia, County Officials Cautious About Methane Gas Traces From Former Landfill

Methane gas was detected underground near the city's north side, according to a message on the city website.

The following information is from of the website about the detection of methane gas underground at the corner of Fabyan Parkway and Raddant Road.

Dec. 19, 2011 Update on Midway Landfill Methane Issues   

On Dec. 2, the City of Batavia and Kane County were informed that Waste Management detected methane gas beyond the footprint of the old Midway Landfill. The landfill's location was west of what is now Settlers Hill landfill on Fabyan Parkway.

Methane is odorless but in certain concentrations can be a fire hazard. There are varying thicknesses of clay beneath the homes and above the sand and gravel layer where methane could travel. There is a concern that the methane could migrate into the sewers and potentially the sump pits and/or basements of houses in the Highlands.

Due to the fact that the clay layer thins out to the West and South of Midway, it is possible for gas to migrate into the Highlands.

Employees of Waste Management, which is responsible for the facility, the and Water departments all have been monitoring utility vaults and sewers along Fabyan Parkway and within the Highlands Subdivision for the last 2 weeks with no methane found.

Two homes were tested and the first of two test wells, that being at Thoria and Surrey roads, just finished on Monday. These areas showed no trace of methane as of 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19.

However, there was a discovery of methane at a test well at the corner of Fabyan Parkway and Raddant Road. The methane is not under pressure, and is beneath some 30 feet of clay in that spot, both good signs. 

Please remember that city utility pipes and manholes are being tested in all areas of the Highlands and have shown no presence of methane to date. An additional well will be drilled today, Tues., Dec. 20 at the park at the end of Prairie Street and near the Kicks 66 gas station at Fabyan and Route 25.

Please be assured that the City of Batavia and Kane County are working closely with Waste Management site personnel to remedy this situation as quickly as possible.

How and When Will This Get Fixed?

It is expected that this problem will be fully resolved in the next few weeks with minimal inconvenience to the residents in the Highlands.

Representatives of Waste Management, the County and City have been meeting regularly to address this problem. Waste Management already began construction on the permanent solution—a ring of wells and pipes north of the former Sheriff’s facility which will have a vacuum applied to it. This is very effective and the methane will be piped into the system that converts the methane into electric power in Geneva.

Monitoring will continue until it is certain that no methane migrates off of the site. Waste Management is required by Federal and State law to remediate this issue. That is, they must stop the flow of methane from their site and ensure that no pockets of gas exist outside of their property.

Waste Management is working with the appropriate City departments and the County to monitor the situation and ensure public safety. A letter from Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke and Kane County Chairman Karen McConnaughay was mailed to all residents of the Highlands on Saturday with contact information for Waste Management and the City. The web addresses are below.

The City website will be updated each day with the latest test results. Of course if there is a serious concern, residents will be contacted personally.

If it becomes necessary to visit an individual home, a City employee with a City ID card will accompany any personnel. The cost of all this testing, and any remediation, if necessary, will be borne by Waste Management.

Can I Talk To Someone About This?

Waste Management has established a special phone line residents can use to obtain information. The toll-free telephone number to call is 1-855-964-4663. An attendant will take your information and a company representative will return your call as soon as possible.

The city's postings on the methane tests will be updated daily, or more often if necessary. The City website for information is cityofbatavia.net/midway. The Kane County website is countyofkane.org.

KaliGrrl December 22, 2011 at 07:45 PM
wow. who knew? methane gas and a landfill.....go figure. ;)

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