Although the Wessex Water Authority is one of the smallest water authorities the hydrogeology of the region is varied with major aquifers ranging from the Chalk in the south-east to Carboniferous Limestone in the north-west. Approximately half of the public water supplies for Wessex are obtained from groundwater so it is imperative that the aquifers are protected from pollution from landfill.
Within Wessex no aquifer protection policy as such has been developed and, although tipping on aquifers is discouraged, each proposed site is looked at on its merits and, subject to adequate safeguards based on reliable data, sites on aquifers may be permitted. This approach, coupled with inherited sites, has resulted in a wide range of types of waste disposal site.
Four examples of different types of site on aquifers are presented together with a non-aquifer site which is a contain and treat site and which might be considered by many to be the optimum type of site.