What are those pipes with the curved top sticking out of random fields in Massachusetts? Sometimes there are many pipes evenly distributed across the field.


Closed Landfills

Those fields are usually closed landfills, like the one in the above photo in Lanesborough, Massachusetts.

The vent pipes are to release methane gas that builds up and gets trapped in the landfill. The pipes can also control odor.

When MSW (municipal solid waste) is first deposited in a landfill, it undergoes an aerobic (with oxygen) decomposition stage when little methane is generated. Then, typically within less than 1 year, anaerobic conditions are established and methane-producing bacteria begin to decompose the waste and generate methane. -epa.gov


The curved top is to prevent animals or any other form of debris from blocking or impeding the pipe.

Controlling landfill gas (LFG) is one target of landfill management. Lateral migration of methane gas has led to the accidental explosion of houses near landfills, so passive gas vents are now installed to release pressure from LFG, which is released or burned on site. -sciencedirect.com

Leach Fields

These vent pipes can also be used on leach fields for those who have septic systems.

  • leach field aeration
  • regulation of pressure
  • reduction

Methane is a greenhouse gas that traps heat and contributes to climate change, but trapped methane gas can be bigger problem.

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