Environmental Implications of the Discharge of Municipal Landfill Leachate into the Densu River and Surrounding Ramsar Wetland in the Accra Metropolis, Ghana


Investigations were conducted over a six-month period on leachate which continuously egresses from a “natural attenuation” landfill site into a fragile ecosystem in the Accra Metropolis, Ghana. Most physico-chemical, oxygen demand parameters and nutrient contents were within permissible limits but Total Dissolved Solids (1124 - 13200 mg/l), conductivity (7960 - 24890 μS/cm), Mn (0.12 - 0.94 mg/l), Ca2+ (160 - 356 mg/l) and, more especially chloride contents (1030 - 2967 mg/l) far exceeded respective World Health Organisation (WHO) limits for effluent discharge into the natural environment. Multivariate statistics using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Cluster Analysis (CA) suggest significant concentrations of Ca2+, Cl-, and to a lesser extent Zn, Cd, Mn and PO42- relative to the river water samples. Because the landfill was abandoned recently (in 2009), degradation and other breakdown processes of waste material may only have just began, suggesting that the uncontrolled and continuous discharge of chloride and some heavy metal-laden leachate could, in the long-term, substantially impact negatively on the Ramsar Densu wetland and surrounding water bodies, soil and nearby marine ecosystem.

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Nyame, F. , Tigme, J. , Kutu, J. and Armah, T. (2012) Environmental Implications of the Discharge of Municipal Landfill Leachate into the Densu River and Surrounding Ramsar Wetland in the Accra Metropolis, Ghana. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 4, 622-633. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2012.48072.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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