The treatment of landfill leachate using natural systems
University College Cork
Leachate may be defined as any liquid percolating through deposited waste and emitted from or contained within a landfill. If leachate migrates from a site it may pose a severe threat to the surrounding environment. Increasingly stringent environmental legislation both at European level and national level (Republic of Ireland) regarding the operation of landfill sites, control of associated emissions, as well as requirements for restoration and aftercare management (up to 30 years) has prompted research for this project into the design and development of a low cost, low maintenance, low technology trial system to treat landfill leachate at Kinsale Road Landfill Site, located on the outskirts of Cork city. A trial leachate treatment plant was constructed consisting of 14 separate treatment units (10 open top cylindrical cells [Ø 1.8 m x 2.0 high] and four reed beds [5.0m x 5.0m x 1.0m]) incorporating various alternative natural treatment processes including reed beds (vertical flow [VF] and horizontal flow [HF]), grass treatment planes, compost units, timber chip units, compost-timber chip units, stratified sand filters and willow treatment plots. High treatment efficiencies were achieved in units operating in sequence containing compost and timber chip media, vertical flow reed beds and grass treatment planes. Pollutant load removal rates of 99% for NH4, 84% for BOD5, 46% for COD, 63% for suspended solids, 94% for iron and 98% for manganese were recorded in the final effluent of successfully operated sequences at irrigation rates of 945 l/m2/day in the cylindrical cells and 96 l/m2/day in the VF reed beds and grass treatment planes. Almost total pathogen removal (E. coli) occurred in the final effluent of the same sequence. Denitrification rates of 37% were achieved for a limited period. A draft, up-scaled leachate treatment plant is presented, based on treatment performance of the trial plant.
Landfill , Compost , Willow , Leachate treatment , Natural systems , Reed beds , Sand filter , Timber chip , Vegetated plane
Ryan, K. 2014. The treatment of landfill leachate using natural systems. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.