In November 1999, a 250,000 m3 cell of the 3,000,000 m3 Delta Shake and Shingle Landfill, located at the northern edge of Burns Bog in Delta, British Columbia, erupted in flames. The initial extinguishment efforts by the landfill owner accelerated combustion of the construction demolition waste and a state of Local Emergency was declared by the Mayor of Delta. Smoke from the fire cast a thick haze over the Vancouver skyline, streams in the area were threatened by leachate from the firefight, and workers on adjacent properties were being affected by smoke and odours.
The landfill was underlain by soft peat and silt, and Horizon Engineering was assigned the responsibility for geotechnical assessment, instrumentation, and design to ensure that the proposed excavation and lay-down earthworks required for fire-fighting would not result in adversely affecting nearby existing utilities. A catastrophic failure of the adjacent gas trunk lines was of particular concern. Horizon Engineering’s role in this project included:

  • design of remedial earthworks,
  • site investigations,
  • instrumentation installation,
  • short term stability analysis,
  • monitoring of geotechnical instrumentation, and
  • assessment of monitoring and survey data.

Horizon Engineering’s workforce was mobilized overnight and the geotechnical investigation, instrumentation and analysis programs were carried out simultaneously with the earthworks for which they were designed. Measured movements did not reach trigger levels established by Horizon Engineering, remaining within predicted ranges.

Horizon Engineering Inc was recognized with an award in 2001 by the Consulting Engineers of British Columbia for our work on this challenging project.