Landfill Site Impacts on the Aquifer Quality in Madinah, Saudi Arabia
Landfilling municipal solid waste (MSW) is the most practiced option for the waste disposal in many countries.
This is due to the high cost of waste treatment and other disposal alternatives. However, there are some concerns about the
environmental impacts of these sites on their surrounding areas even from the engineering sanitary landfills, which equipped
with a containment liner system to separate the waste from environment and a collection system to control the leachate. In
Madinah, KSA, the amount of solid waste generated in Madinah governorate is around 1000 tons per day. Approximately 85%
of this generated waste is disposed to an engineering sanitary landfill. In this study, three boreholes were adopted to monitor
the groundwater quality close the landfill leachate collection site. Furthermore, a 3D simulation was implemented on this
leachate collection site to follow the fate and migration of the leachate from collection site bed into the groundwater. The focus
of this work was to predict the spreading of heavy metals concentration in both time and location and to determine the safe
location for water withdrawal from this aquifer. Results showed a good match between numerical model results and
experimental measurements. Empirical models were generated to estimate the safe location for water withdrawal based on
pumping rate and contact time.
Index Terms - Groundwater, Leaching, Municipal Solid Waste, Pollutant Migration Simulation, Waste Landfilling