Leachate Pollution and Impact to Environment

Leachate Pollution and Impact to Environment

Oluwakemi Kehinde Fagbenro (Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9610-5.ch008
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Pollution prevention is a step towards obtaining a green environment, and no amount of effort in that direction should be considered too great. To this effect, the pollution by leachate and the resultant impact on the environment is discussed in this chapter. Types and sources of pollution, their transfer and effect have been discussed, so as to give a background understanding on pollution and hence provide a platform for its control. The age old waste disposal practice of open dumps and landfilling is discussed, highlighting the dangers of indiscriminate waste dumping and uncontrolled landfilling practices. Although other sources of leachate generation are highlighted, the chapter focuses on leachates from municipal landfills and the effect of its migration. Engineered landfills also known as sanitary landfills have performed better in curtailing the movement of leachates, hence the use of artificial liners or low permeability soils such as the well compacted clayey soils, to eliminate or minimize leachate migration.
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Pollution is considered as the introduction of contaminants also called pollutants into any natural system thereby causing an adverse effect on the latter. In like manner, environmental pollution is the deterioration of the environment by the introduction of many factors occurring in forms such as chemical substances, and or energy sources including noise, heat, and light. The major forms of pollution and their specific contaminants are highlighted in Table 1.

Table 1.
Major forms of pollution, causes and their contaminants
Forms of PollutionCausesContaminants
Air pollutionRelease of chemicals and particulates into the atmospherecarbon monoxide
Noise pollutionExcess noise or unpleasant sound causing temporary imbalance in natureAircraft, industrial, roadway, and high intensity sonar
Soil pollutionRelease of chemicals due to spills or underground leakageHydrocarbons, heavy metals, MTBE, herbicides, pesticides
Thermal pollutionHuman influence resulting in temperature change in water bodiesUse of water coolant in power plant & hot waste water discharges
Water PollutionDischarges of waste water from commercial & industrial waste (including spills)Chemical contaminants from industrial & domestic sewage

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