An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model

The HELP model estimates water balances for landfills and other land disposal systems. The program models rainfall, runoff, infiltration, and other water pathways to estimate how much water builds up above each landfill liner. The model considers design parameters. It can incorporate data on:

  • vegetation;
  • soil types;
  • geosynthetic materials;
  • initial moisture conditions;
  • layer thicknesses;
  • slopes; and
  • drain spacing and liner placement.

A Hydrological Evaluation Tool with Many Uses

  • Landfill closures. Use of the HELP model is required by the EPA to evaluate closure designs of hazardous and nonhazardous waste management facilities.
  • Design evaluation and permitting. More than 2,000 private engineering offices in more than a dozen countries use the model for landfill design evaluation and regulatory permitting actions. Over 200 offices of federal, state, and municipal governmental agencies use it for these purposes as well.
  • Training and research. This model is used for training and research at more than 50 universities.

Current Model and a New Version in Production

The HELP model was developed for the EPA by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station. This was done under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to support RCRA and Superfund programs. The model applies to open, partially closed, and fully closed sites. Landfill systems can be modeled that include various combinations of:

  • vegetation;
  • cover soils;
  • waste cells;
  • lateral drain layers;
  • low permeability barrier soils; and
  • synthetic geomembrane liners.

The model calculates daily, monthly, annual, and average annual estimates. It estimates amounts of:

  • runoff;
  • evapotranspiration;
  • drainage;
  • leachate collection; and
  • liner leakage.

HELP v3.5, a Microsoft Excel-based application, is being developed. This will replace HELP v3.07, a DOS application. A beta version of the new tool will be available in the near future.

Specifications

HELP v3.07 is a DOS executable program, meaning it does not run in a Windows or iOS environment. The 16-bit program will not natively work with 64-bit systems (i.e., most Windows 7 and more recent systems). Therefore, a 3rd party emulator is required. To use a DOS emulator to install the HELP model, please follow the steps in "Walkthrough to Install and Operate the Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model v3.07 below.

Download

HELP Model V3.07 (ZIP)(4 MB)

Documentation to Learn More About HELP is Available

US EPA. (2017) Walkthrough to Install and Operate the Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model, Version 3.07.

US EPA. (1984) Hydrologic Evaluation Of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model, Volume 1 (PDF). Publication No. EPA/530/SW-84/009.

US EPA. (1984) Hydrologic Evaluation Of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model Volume 2 (PDF). Publication No. EPA/530/SW-84/010.

US EPA. (1994) Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model: A (Set Includes, A- User's Guide for Version 3 w/disks, B-Engineering Documentation for Version 3) (PDF). Publication No. EPA/600/R-94/168A, 1994

US EPA. (1994) Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model B (Set Includes, A- User's Guide for Version 3 w/disks, B-Engineering Documentation for Version 3) (PDF). Publication No. EPA/600/R-94/168b, 1994

US EPA. (1988) Verification Of The Hydrologic Evaluation Of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model Using Field Data. Project Summary. Publication No. EPA/600/S2-87/050

US EPA. (1987) Verification of the Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model Using Field Data. Report. NTIS PB87-227518