Keywords: pollutant dispersion, fractured granites, municipal waste, disposal facilities, leaking, monitoring, Portugal, landfill leachate, chemical contamination, waste management, environmental pollution
Initial stages of pollutants dispersion around municipal waste disposal facilities: a case study in Northern Portugal
The combined use of several geological, geochemical and geophysical observations during six years enabled the detection of a very faint halo of chemical contamination induced by the operation of a young waste disposal facility in Northern Portugal. The halo does not classify as pollution by any standards, but is observed to be intensifying and thus signals a potential hazardous situation in future years. The approach used shows that a comprehensive and diverse monitoring programme, although relatively inexpensive and easy to carry out, may detect concealed leaks long before any environmental concern is justified, and thus may help avert future complex remediation needs caused by the uncontrolled growth of undetected underground pollution plumes.