Cherokee County will install a new blower system to alleviate high levels of methane gas at the closed Blaylock Road landfill. The cost for the project is about $25,000.

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners recently approved the purchase and installation of a new methane blower.

Earlier this year, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division approved revising a methane remediation plan to handle the issue of high methane readings at four monitoring locations near the Blalock Road Landfill, according to county documents.

The landfill has been closed since 1993 and the EPD has been monitoring the site to ensure that any methane — which is lighter than air and can create an oxygen-deficient atmosphere by displacing the oxygen — created from the former landfill does not build up to dangerous levels.

“It is common for methane to be produced due to decomposition of material in the landfill,” county manager Jerry Cooper said.

According to information from the EPD, the agency suggested that the modifications to be made to the methane remediation plan include:

Installing permanent methane monitoring meters at four nearby residences;

♦ Converting one of the existing interceptor trenches into a vacuum system;

♦ Installing a new interceptor trench nearby and connecting it to the converted vacuum trench, and;

♦ Putting in an additional two new interceptor trenches fitted with wind turbines.

The county added another amendment to the plan, which included working with environmental consulting firm Rindt-McDuff Associates to meet with the Sawnee Electric Membership Corp. in coordinating running electricity to the site, obtaining quotes for the installation of the vacuum pump and blower system, overseeing the installation of both the interceptor trenches and the vacuum pump and blower system, obtaining and installing the methane meters at the locations determined by the EPD and prepare much of the documentation that has to be submitted to the EPD.

At the most recent meeting of the board of commissioners, the board approved purchasing a blower for the amount of $16,697.34, as well as electrical service from Sawnee EMC to power it that will cost $8,283.78, for an entire project cost of $24,981.12.

With the approval of the new equipment, Cooper and Community Development Agency Director Geoffrey Morton said the blower system could arrive in the county and be ready to install in just over a month. Cooper said this system will be able to remove methane more effectively and thus reduce any issues caused by a build-up of methane around the former landfill. Morton added that it also involves installing underground piping and vents to collect the methane. Work crews from the county’s public works department will begin on the installation of these vents in early December, and Morton said that the current estimated completion date to have the new venting and blower system installed should be late January.

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