Assessing the impact of a landfill leachate on a Canadian waste water treatment plant

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In the late 1980s, the Erb Street landfill, located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, had a very large leachate mound, thus a perimeter toe-drain system was installed. The leachate was sent to the Waterloo Waste Water Treatment Plant via the sewer system. This study investigated possible effects of the leachate on the treatability of the sewage with respect to oxygen demand, BOD5 loading, nitrification capacity, and the metal concentrations in the sewage biosolids. The quantitity of leachate produced at the landfill and its contaminant concentrations were predicted and compared with measured values. Based on the predictions, it was shown that the leachate strength would not exceed its current strength in the future. The average BOD5 and ammonia loads of the leachate were estimated to represent ∼2% of the total loads of the sewage. Also, the leachate metal contribution to the sewage was significant.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 1996

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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