Landfills must be enclosed by reliable sealing systems to protect soil and groundwater from contamination with pollutants due to uncontrolled escape of leachate in the long term. For this purpose, geosynthetics made of plastics and displaying a large two-dimensionally extended area are used. They can be delivered to and used at almost any location in an uncomplicated manner. Other products are used e.g. for area drainage, separation of soil layers or for reinforcement. Geosynthetics are not only used in landfills, but also in hydraulic engineering, road construction and landscaping.
According to the German Landfill Ordinance the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und prüfung (BAM) is responsible for the approval of geosynthetics, polymers and leak-detection-systems for landfills in Germany. Geosynthetics must fulfil their function over a period of at least 100 years and leak-detection-systems of at least 30 years according to this ordinance. The approval guidelines of BAM translate these and other general demands into concrete technical requirements regarding long-term high chemical and biological resistance as well as production and installation quality. Therefore, the overall quality management is an important aspect of the product approvals.
In 1989 the first geomembrane was approved by BAM for landfills in Germany. Ever since, scientific investigations on geomembranes and further products as well as assessments of applicability were carried out at BAM. In this context, the article shows the most important developments in German landfill construction in thirty years.
30 Jahre BAM‐Zulassung (in der Deponietechnik): material‐ und prüftechnische Entwicklungen
Werner W. Müller, Franz‐Georg Simon, Andreas Wöhlecke
published in Bautechnik, Vol. 96, issue 12, pages 912 - 918
BAM, division Contaminant Transport and Environmental Technologies