Running Head: GROUNDWATER POLLUTION AND LEACHATE 1
Ground Water Pollution and Leachate
Cindy (Su Ting) Yu
Simon Fraser University
Dr. Leah Bendell
December 3rd, 2012
GROUNDWATER POLLUTION AND LEACHATE 2
Groundwater pollution is a major environmental issue the effect of which is worldwide. The water that drains from landfills, which usually contains suspended, dissolved, and sometimes contaminant materials, is called leachate (The Leachate Expert Website, 2012). With the acceleration of population growth, the contamination of groundwater caused by leachate from waste has quickly become a pressing environmental concern.
Population growth entails consumerism and raises the demand for more products, thereby resulting in more waste. Many electronic consumer products are buried in landfill sites, which allow lead, cadmium and mercury to pollute groundwater (Inhabitat, 2012). Population growth can lead to urbanization and industrialization, two processes that demand more landfill space. Older landfills and most common type of dumps around the world are open-spaced (Akinbile and Yusoff, 2011). Thousands of them have been closed due to the fact that they are un-engineered and unlined in contrast with modern landfills, yet many of them are still in use (The Leachate Expert Website, 2012). Modern landfills, also called sanitary landfills, do not accept liquid waste, thus the main source of leachate comes from rainfall; moreover, since they are well-engineered, they have leachate collection and removal systems that are located on top of the composite liner and are used for removing leachate for disposal and treatment (EPA, 2012).
Unfortunately, there are still risks of leachate escaping from landfills to groundwater and other watercourses. The level of the threat caused by leachate to groundwater depends on...