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Landfill Leachates: Part 2: Treatment

Waste Water Treatment

  1. P. Samaras1,
  2. A. I. Zouboulis2

Published Online: 15 APR 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.ww107

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Samaras, P. and Zouboulis, A. I. 2005. Landfill Leachates: Part 2: Treatment. Water Encyclopedia. 1:702–713.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Chemical Process Engineering Research Institute, Thermi-Thessaloniki, Greece

  2. 2

    Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2005


The characteristics (composition) of sanitary landfill leachates are very different from domestic wastewaters, and their quality varies from landfill to landfill, as well as with the particular landfill age. Hence, their treatment is based largely on industrial wastewater treatment processes. However, no single treatment method is considered efficient enough to achieve the high removal rates of pollutants, usually required; therefore, several treatment trains are currently used, including combinations of aerobic/anaerobic processes and several modes of physical–chemical treatment systems. The selection and design of leachate treatment facilities requires knowledge of several parameters, such as leachate quantity and quality, degree of necessary treatment, disposal methods, and effluents guidelines. These are the main problems that have to be considered:

  • Specific treatment schemes applied in a particular landfill may not be transferable to other sites.

  • Leachate quantity and quality vary seasonally, depending on climatic and hydrologic factors.

  • The composition of disposed of solid wastes greatly affects the composition of leachates.


  • sanitary landfill;
  • leachates;
  • treatment;
  • biological processes;
  • physical–chemical;
  • equalization;
  • precipitation;
  • coagulation;
  • oxidation;
  • activated carbon;
  • air stripping;
  • ion exchange;
  • membrane filtration;
  • recirculation;
  • selection;
  • combination