A Time-Dependent System for Evaluating Groundwater Contamination Hazard Rating of Municipal Solid Waste Dumps
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In developing countries, several old municipal solid waste dumps (unlined landfills) exist adjacent to large cities, releasing contaminants to the underlying aquifer, thus posing the hazard of groundwater contamination. These uncontrolled waste dumps need to be prioritized in terms of the groundwater contamination hazard posed by them, so that necessary control and remedial measures can be undertaken in a phased manner. This paper presents a time-dependent system for evaluating groundwater contamination hazard rating of municipal solid waste dumps. The system is based on source–pathway–receptor relationships and evaluates the relative value of hazard posed by a site over its entire leaching life, on a scale of 0–1,000. The system parameters have been selected based on literature and expert opinions. The Delphi technique is used to derive the relative importance weights of the system parameters. The proposed system is compared with six selected existing hazard rating systems. The comparison, made by way of score range analysis, shows that the proposed system exhibits a much wider range of hazard scores for various scenarios of site conditions, and hence the proposed system is more sensitive to varied site conditions. The application of different systems to six municipal solid waste dumps located in four cities of India shows that, whereas the existing systems individually produce clustered scores and return the same rank to more than one site, the proposed system produces significantly varying scores and return different ranks to different sites. This demonstrates that the proposed system improves decision making and makes a better basis for prioritization of municipal solid waste dumps for adopting control and remedial measures.
KeywordsMunicipal Solid Waste Dumps Source–Pathway–Receptor Groundwater Contamination Hazard Scores Hazard Rating Systems
The authors wish to thank M/s Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited, New Delhi, and the Commission of European Union for supporting the Ph.D. studies of the first author, of which the present paper is a part.
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