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Probe Finds Methane Gas South of Batavia Rehab Center

A Tuesday update from Batavia City Hall indicates methane gas was discovered underground on Orion Street between Surrey Road and Nagel Boulevard on the city's north side.

A Waste Management probe on Tuesday found methane gas south of Batavia Rehabilitation & Health Care, the announced.

The probe is located on Orion Street, between Surrey and Nagel. The city shared information about the discovery in updates time stamped at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday.

is a facility for seniors who are recovering from injuries or surgery and require special medical attention. The center was tested before Christmas and no actual methane was discovered there, said Julie Hearst, a regional marketing director works with Batavia's center.

"In response to this concern, Waste Management representatives, accompanied by city of Batavia Public Works employees, are in the process of obtaining permission to enter and test the seven homes located along the east side of Surrey. As of this update, three homes have been tested with NO indication of methane gas present," the report said.

Kane County and city of Geneva websites do not appear to have the Tuesday update as of 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

In the 6 p.m. update, the city of Batavia reported that seven homes to the east of the probe on Surrey south of the rehabilitation facility were visited today (Tuesday, Dec. 27.) Methane levels were tested at three homes, and no methane was found. Notes were left for the remaining people to call Waste Management for testing.

"As a further precaution, Waste Management will begin contacting the homes on the west side of Surrey and offering to test in the basement and sump pits as well. Waste Management personnel will be accompanied by city of Batavia employees," the report says.

If any methane at all is found, Waste Management will work with the homeowners to continue monitoring and arrange for remediation. The report says remediation for methane gas is the same process used for radon remediation.

On Wednesday, "an additional probe, planned on last week, will be drilled on Madison at the north end of Forest. As before, all probes will be tested, and work will continue on the permanent well, vacuum and pipe system north of Fabyan to retain all methane on the landfill campus," the report says.

The report says the 22 utility test sites have not shown any methane and will be monitored on alternate days.

The Batavia site promises updates after the conference call has been completed.

For the full city of Batavia release, visit the website here.

Rod Nelson December 30, 2011 at 01:01 AM
http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/hac/landfill/html/ch2.html The landfill on Fabyan Parkway is probablly in the 3rd phase of "The Four Phases of Bacterial Decomposition of Landfill Waste" - This is when methane production accelerates until it plateaus to mark the start of Phase IV. Phase III and IV can each last decades. The discovery of methane migration is not surprising. Bacteria decompose landfill waste in four phases. The composition of the gas produced changes with each of the four phases of decomposition. Landfills often accept waste over a 20- to 30-year period, so waste in a landfill may be undergoing several phases of decomposition at once. This means that older waste in one area might be in a different phase of decomposition than more recently buried waste in another area. Phase I During the first phase of decomposition, aerobic bacteria—bacteria that live in the presence of oxygen—consume oxygen while breaking down the long molecular chains of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids that comprise organic waste. The primary byproduct of this process is carbon dioxide. Nitrogen content is high at the beginning of this phase, but declines as the landfill moves through the four phases. Phase I continues until available oxygen is depleted. Phase I decomposition can last for days or months, depending on how much oxygen is present when the waste is disposed of in the landfill. Oxygen levels will vary according to factors such as how compressed the waste was when it was buried.
Rod Nelson December 30, 2011 at 01:06 AM
Phase III decomposition starts when certain kinds of anaerobic bacteria consume the organic acids produced in Phase II and form acetate, an organic acid. This process causes the landfill to become a more neutral environment in which methane-producing bacteria begin to establish themselves. Methanogenic bacteria consume the carbon dioxide and acetate, too much of which would be toxic to the acid-producing bacteria. Phase IV Phase IV decomposition begins when both the composition and production rates of landfill gas remain relatively constant. Phase IV landfill gas usually contains approximately 45% to 60% methane by volume, 40% to 60% carbon dioxide, and 2% to 9% other gases, such as sulfides. Gas is produced at a stable rate in Phase IV, typically for about 20 years; however, gas will continue to be emitted for 50 or more years after the waste is placed in the landfill (Crawford and Smith 1985). Gas production might last longer, for example, if greater amounts of organics are present in the waste, such as at a landfill receiving higher than average amounts of domestic animal waste. Methane is a marker of landfill gas escape. Methane does pose danger. Also, with the methane travels other trace landfill gases such as the powerful cancer causing gas vinyl chloride. Unfortunately, we are just at the beginning of a long period requiring great vigilance and prudence on the part of those responsible for the landfill.
Julie December 30, 2011 at 10:55 PM
Batavia Rehab does NOT have methane gas. A thorough inspection was completed prior to the posting of this article.

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