Mathematical modeling of heavy metals contamination from MSW landfill site in Khon Kaen, Thailand

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Kham Bon landfill site is one of many municipality waste disposal sites in Thailand which are in an unsanitary condition. The site has been receiving municipality wastes without separating hazardous waste since 1968. Heavy metals including, Pb, Cr and Cd are found in soil and groundwater around the site, posing a health risk to people living nearby. In this research, contamination transport modelling of Pb, Cr and Cd was simulated using MODFLOW for two periods, at the present (2010) and 20 years prediction (2030). Model results showed that heavy metals, especially Pb and Cr migrated toward the north-eastern and south-eastern direction. The 20 years prediction showed that, heavy metals tend to move from the top soil to the deeper aquifer. The migration would not exceed 500 m radius from the landfill centre in the next 20 years, which is considered to be a slow process. From the simulation model, it is recommended that a mitigation measure should be performed to reduce the risk from landfill contamination. Hazardous waste should be separated for proper management. Groundwater contamination in the aquifer should be closely monitored. Consumption of groundwater in a 500 m radius must be avoided. In addition, rehabilitation of the landfill site should be undertaken to prevent further mobilization of pollutants.

Keywords: contamination, heavy metals, landfill, landfill leachate

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