Physico-chemical and biological characterization of urban municipal landfi ll leachate
a Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India,
b Centre for Sustainable Technologies (CST), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
c Energy and Wetlands Research Group (EWRG), Center for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
*Corresponding author:


Unscientific management and ad-hoc approaches in municipal solid waste management have led to a generation of voluminous leachate in urban conglomerates. Quantification, quality assessment, following treatment and management of leachate has become a serious problem worldwide. In this context, the present study investigates the physico-chemical and biological characterization of landfill leachate and nearby water sources and attempts to identify relationships between the key parameters together with understanding the various processes for chemical transformations. The analysis shows an intermediate leachate age (5e10 years) with higher nutrient levels of 10,000e12,000 mg/l and ~2000e3000 mg/l of carbon (COD) and nitrogen (TKN) respectively. Elemental analysis and underlying mechanisms reveal chemical precipitation and co-precipitation as the vital processes in leachate pond systems resulting in accumulation of trace metals. Based on the above criteria the samples were clustered into major groups that showed a clear distinction between leachate and water bodies. The microbial analysis showed bacterial communities correlating with specific factors relevant to redox environments indicating a gradient in nature and abundance of biotic diversity with a change in leachate environment. Finally, the quality and the contamination potential of the samples were evaluated with the help of leachate pollution index (LPI) and water quality index (WQI) analysis. The study helps in understanding the contamination potential of landfill leachate and establishes linkages between microbial communities and physico-chemical parameters for effective management of landfill leachate.

Keywords: Leachate characterization Microbial analysis Heavy metals Landfill LPI.
Citation : B.P. Naveen., Durga Madhab Mahapatra, T.G. Sitharam, P.V. Sivapullaiah, T.V. Ramachandra, 2016. Physico-chemical and biological characterization of urban municipal landfill leachate, Environmental Pollution (2016),
* Corresponding Author :
Dr. T.V. Ramachandra
Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560 012, India.
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