What are Rainshed Covers

Rainshed covers or temporary rain covers are used on landfills around the world. There are a variety of reasons they may be specified or required by the site owner, local or state government. Generally, temporary raincovers have a life expectancy ranging anywhere between one to five years depending on the reason why it is needed. These can include but aren’t limited to, temporary closure, wildlife protection, odor control and leachate mitigation.  This article will briefly explore the leachate aspect of this application.


Rainshed Cover: Used for temporary landfill rain cover

Leachate starts as rain which leaches through the waste picking up toxins and chemicals on the way down. Landfills will be lined and fitted with “drains” more or less to pull out the leachate. Rain falling on top of a landfill is the main contributor to the generation of leachate on a specific site.  This contaminated water has two options once it seeps through the solid waste. It can be treated onsite, or hauled to the local waste water treatment plant. As you can imagine, costs can vary significantly depending on the volume, the toxicity and where it is being treated. Typically the costs range between $0.00 – $0.20 per gallon. The lower costs typically come from relationships or agreements the landfill may have with the city. In exchange for taking the city’s sludge at a lower or reduced rate, the city will take the landfills leachate. The higher costs can be associated to highly contaminated leachate that requires onsite pre-treatment or hauling costs to the local treatment plant. In temperate regions leachate treatment can be upwards of 20-30% of the operating cost on some sites.

You can see the map below shows the average rainfall per state, per year. As stated above there is a direct correlation to the amount of rainfall and the leachate produced on each site.  By covering these large areas with a temporary cover, sites can significantly lower their operating cost while protecting the environment.  The two main products that dominate this market are a string reinforced laminated polyethylene and a woven coated polyethylene. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but woven coated material such as RhinoSkin12 has exceptional physical properties needed for a demanding environment with exposure to the elements.


All data and information appearing on this site is anecdotal in nature, reflecting the contributor’s personal experience and not fact-based research and, therefore, to be used for information purposes only. Read full disclaimer