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Case Study

Landfill – Product Trial Dept of Environment Food & Rural Affairs – England

Burial Site Odor Control


A product trial was performed at a site of the Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) – Tow Law Foot and Mouth Burial Site in Durham County, England. The trial took place on one burial pit approximately 150 m long x 30 m wide x 10 m deep. The pit was about 80% full and contained 24,000 sheep, cattle, and pig carcasses. BOD in excess of 20,000 mg/l was experienced.

The pit was lined with sheeting and had 3 concrete vertical columns to enable leachate (blood/bodily fluids) to be pumped out to a holding tank to be taken by tanker to a wastewater treatment plant. On arrival, carcasses are dumped on a large concrete apron to be flattened driving over them with a front-end loader. They are ‘spiked’ with a heavy forklift to empty stomach contents. The carcasses are emptied into the pit, covered in straw and plastic sheeting and a layer of earth about 50 cm. thick before the next layer is laid. The pit was full to 2 m. from the top and 120 m. in length. The last carcasses received were 2 weeks old and odor control consultants were attempting to manage odors. Diox (Chlorine Dioxide) was being used to suppress odor in addition to a sprinkler system sending out fine jets of a pine smelling deodorant. Diox is toxic and was not allowed to be sprayed, it was poured in areas of strongest odors. Four weeks earlier, the pit had been bubbling on the surface with leachate. It had settled and little surface leachate was apparent. Odor was detected in pockets but was difficult to pinpoint except for the concrete columns, which gave off bad odor.


The surface area required 150 liters of an Organic Product with 450 liters of water. This was applied with a high-pressure hose. The surface of the pit was very dry, uneven soil, cracked with patches of wet from rising leachate. These areas were heavily dosed and the whole area covered.

The application took 4 hours, refilling with 100 liters of product and 300 of water. In total, 350 liters of Organic Product were used and 1,050 liters of water. Upon ending the application, there was consensus that some improvement was achieved. However, as the odors at the time of the trial were relatively mild, it was difficult to quantify improvement.

A reassessment was agreed. The following morning it was reported that overnight a small but bad spillage of leachate occurred during pumping at another pit. The odor was very bad. The Organic Product was used effectively and quickly to control the odor. On revisiting the pit sprayed the previous day, it was agreed that the Organic Product had made a considerable difference. No further spray was undertaken. A leachate control test by spreading some on the concrete apron and spraying with the product and spraying a vertical column were performed successfully.

  • The product works best when the odors are worst.
  • Diox is difficult and dangerous to use. Workers suffer headaches, nosebleeds and nausea during use.
  • The product can be applied with a spray and is user friendly.
  • Successfully tested the Organic Product in the world’s biggest animal burial site.

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