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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 10 No. 3, p. 318-322
    Received: Jan 4, 1978

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Effects of Sanitary Landfill Leachate on Some Soil Chemical Properties1

  1. W. M. Winant,
  2. H. A. Menser and
  3. O. L. Bennett2



The treatment of leachate from sanitary landfills has become a serious problem for many communities because of rising concern for water quality and increased use of landfills for disposal of solid waste. The objective of this research was to test the value of using soils to decontaminate waste water from a landfill. Approximately 100 cm of leachate from a sanitary landfill was applied over a 6-month period, after which soil samples were collected to a depth of 60 cm. Ammonium acetate was used to extract Ca, Mg, Na, K, Mn, Fe, Zn, and Sr, while P was extracted with a dilute double acid. At a soil depth of 0–5 cm Ca, Mg, Na, K, and Sr levels of ammonium acetate extracts markedly increased, while leachate irrigation did not significantly change Fe, Zn, P, and Kjeldahl N concentrations. Leachate irrigation increased soil pH from 4.7 to 5.8 at the 0- to 5-cm depth and from 4.5 to 5.7 at the 15- to 30-cm depth. Most elements were attenuated to some extent by the soil, but lime and fertilizer addition did little to influence soil absorptive capacity.

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