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Water treatment for landfills and waste management

Despite advances in recycling and material use, the amount of Urban Solid Waste (MSW) has increased in most European countries. Of this amount, a still significant percentage is sent to landfills, giving rise to a series of problems such as the generation of leachate. The regulations in force in different countries stipulate that leachate must be collected, controlled and treated. The chemical composition of these usually varies throughout the life of the landfill, since in the first years, usually have lower pH ranges (4.5 to 7.5) and higher values of COD, BOD and nutrients, which gives them good biodegradability, while from 3 years, these values tend to be reversed, becoming less biodegradable, and requiring physical- chemical treatment methods. The presence of heavy metals, ammonium and dissolved salts is also important to take into account for their treatment.


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The choice of the most suitable treatment technologies will therefore depend on the flow to be treated, the composition of the leachate and the required discharge limits.

Traditionally, aerobic biological treatments such as SBRs or membrane bioreactors (MBRs) may be sufficient if the discharge limits are not too demanding, whereas otherwise they can be combined with a subsequent physical-chemical treatment by adding reverse osmosis membranes.

In order to further reduce the concentrated salt solution obtained from the osmosis, it can be vacuum evaporated and crystallized, minimizing the final residue. The thermal energy necessary for these operations can be obtained from the use of the biogas generated in the plant, either through its consumption after treatment, in a boiler or in a cogeneration engine.

From PESA Medioambiente, we help to design, implement and operate leachate treatment systems seeking efficiency and sustainability, selecting the combination of optimal technologies depending on the characteristics of the effluent.

Compact solutions

Modular solutions in containers, due to their speed of implementation and flexibility, are particularly recommendable. They allow the treatment capacity (and investment) to be adapted to the volumes and characteristics of the leachate.

Integral vision of water treatment

Those clients who wish to forget about leachate management can outsource their treatment to PESA Medioambiente.

We offer rental, operation and maintenance solutions and technical assistance.