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Submerged Biological Filters To Treat Landfill Leachate. A Laboratory Experience


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A Matarán, M A Gómez, A Ramos, M Zamorano & E Hontoria


Submerged biological filters to treat landfill leachate. A laboratory experience A. Mataran, M.A. Gomez, A. Ramos, M. Zamorano & E. Hontoria Civil Engineering Department. Granada University, Spain. Abstract Leachate treatment systems installed at landfill sites have advanced a great deal in sophistication and reliability. Leachate recirculation, biological and physicochemical treatment processes are used to treat this wastewater but all treatment technologies seem to need a combination of two or more methods to obtain an effluent with suitable properties to eliminate environmental problems. A system for leachate disposal must be simply and economic; it must require the least possible amount of energy to operate and minimum staff involvement. Biological biofilm filters could be a new solution to treat landfill leachate with standard characteristics. Aerobic and anaerobic systems could be used to treat landfill leachate with biological filters. Results obtained for two pilot plants show that this treatment could be an efficient alternative, with COD and suspended solids removal depending on hydraulic loading rate under aerobic or anaerobic conditions. A new pilot plant, with aerobic and anaerobic reactors, is necessary to determine the design parameters of the system. 1 Introduction Wastes in landfill undergo physical, chemical and biological changes resulting in solubilisation or suspension of high concentrations of organic matter in a liquid phase called leachate (1). Landfill leachate is a complex wastewater and it always contains a high strength of pollutants which have an adverse effect on the environment (2). The composition of these leachates depends on waste composition and age, landfill surface, landfill operation and climatic conditions.