An investigation of the interaction between landfill leachate and soils
A detailed review of literature reveals that although soil scientists have reported that soil is an excellent stabiliser of land applied waste, there is little evidence to assess the extremely complex reactions that occur when landfill leachate interacts with soil. In order to examine this, studies of mineralogical content, exchangeable cation status and chemical composition of soils were undertaken. Soil-leachate interactions were studied by column and batch techniques. When dealing with materials as variable and complex as soils, it is difficult to accurately identify the solid phase prior to contact. Owing to the large number and variety of concentrations of leachate constituents, it is considerably more difficult to quantitatively establish the results of interaction and assign alteration values to responsible mechanisms. However, this investigation did reveal the following: - 1. interaction does occur, but this interaction is not unlimited; 2. the degree of interaction is different for different soil types; 3. the relative influence of the mechanisms of interaction; 4. the influence of soil types, soil to leachate ratios and contact -times; and 5. soils previously thought to attenuate leachate have been found not to do so.