In the context of landfilling dewatered wastewater sludge in Hong Kong, with landfills up to 140 m high, one of the most significant properties of sludge is its physical nature with regard to moisture characteristics and associated geotechnical stability. Commonly, lower limits are set on total solids content, but no geotechnical stability criteria are applied with the exception of Germany where a minimum requirement for vane shear strength is set at 25 kN/m2. The purpose of this study was to determine and evaluate dewatered wastewater sludge from three Hong Kong municipal wastewater treatment plants with regard to the following physical and geotechnical properties: (i) vane shear strength; (ii) consolidation characteristics such as compression index, compressibility factor, coefficient of consolidation and compressibility coefficient; and (iii) hydraulic characteristics such as permeability and intrinsic resistance. Although dewatered sludge exhibits quite different characteristics as compared to soils, predictive logarithmic relationships may be established between various properties which are consistent with the critical state model for soils, conventional filtration and consolidation theory. Such representation provides a valuable basis for understanding the sludge characteristics and behaviour to landfill design.

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