, Volume 556, Issue 1, pp 387–397 | Cite as

Acute and Sub-lethal Toxicity of Landfill Leachate Towards Two Aquatic Macro-invertebrates: Demonstrating the Remediation Potential of Aerobic Digestion

  • M. C. BloorEmail author
  • C. J. Banks
Primary Research Paper


A specific landfill leachate that contained 1.036 mgl−1of 2-chlorobiphenyl was used in the study (255 mg l−1 COD and 133 mg l−1 BOD5). Three, 2-l semi-continuous batch reactors (SBRs) were used to simulate the treatment potential of this method on a small scale. Aerobic digestion effectively reduced the leachates COD concentration. Regardless of dilution, the leachates COD reached a <20 mg l−1 equilibrium after 96 h exposure to aerobic digestion, however, increasing the level of dilution accelerated the process. In untreated leachate, the LC50 for Asellus aquaticus was 57% v/v leachate in deionised water and 5% for Gammarus pulex (96 h, static LC50 tests without nutrition and oxygen depleting conditions). After being exposed to aerobic digestion, these values rose to 95% and 40%, respectively. Prolonged exposure to a 1:20 sub-lethal dilution of the aforementioned leachate has been previously shown to affect the breeding colony size of Asellus aquaticus and a 1:66 dilution influenced the fecundity of a Gammarus pulex population. After remediation by aerobic digestion, however, the population dynamics of both test species remained unaltered.


aerobic digestion Asellus aquaticus 2-chlorobiphenyl Gammarus pulex landfill leachate toxicity tests 



5 day biochemical oxygen demand


Chemical oxygen demand


Lethal concentration in which 50% of the test animals died


Milligram per litre




Mixed liquor suspended solids


Polychlorinated Biphenyl




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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Civil Engineering and the Environment University of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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