Assessment of landfill leachate in semi-arid climate and its impact on the groundwater quality case study: Hamedan, Iran

  • Mehdi VahabianEmail author
  • Yousef Hassanzadeh
  • Safar Marofi


To evaluate environmental impacts of solid waste landfilling, groundwater quality near the MSW landfill in a semi-arid climate of Iran (Hamedan) and its leachates were analyzed. To this aim, heavy metal concentrations, COD, BOD5, TOC, EC, NO3, Cl, TDS, and pH of two leachate ponds (active and closed sites) as the sources of contamination as well as the shallow groundwater of the area were measured. Monthly and seasonal monitoring program of 13 sampling points in the area were designed during the period of 2014–2016. Principal components analysis has been carried out using chemical data to deduce relationship between the samples. A special statistical approach including a main factor (age of leachate) and a subfactor (distance from the source of pollutant) was designed in order to identify the landfill role on the groundwater contamination. The physicochemical analysis of the leachate characteristics confirmed a high variation in the contaminants (i.e., organic compounds, salts, and heavy metals) related to leachate age. The BOD5/COD ratio of the active (0.73) and closed (0.77) sites ponds indicated that the leachates were in a biodegradable and unstabilized condition. The seasonal physicochemical analysis of the leachates showed that rainfall events increase the decomposition rate of the waste and affect pollutant concentration of the leachate. The proposed statistical analysis illustrated a direct relationship between the groundwater quality parameters and the leachates physicochemical characteristics.


Landfill leachate Groundwater pollution Heavy metals Municipal solid waste Semi-arid climate 



This study was partially supported by Hamedan Regional Water Authority. The authors wish to express their gratitude for their assistance.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Civil EngineeringUniversity of TabrizTabrizIran
  2. 2.Water Engineering Department, Faculty of AgricultureBu-Ali Sina UniversityHamedanIran

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