Mycological and ecotoxicological characterisation of landfill leachate before and after traditional treatments.

Research paper by Valeria V Tigini, Valeria V Prigione, Giovanna Cristina GC Varese

Indexed on: 06 May '14Published on: 06 May '14Published in: Science of the Total Environment


Pollution caused by landfill leachates is one of the main problems of urbanised areas, on account of their chemical composition, which turn in an ineffective treatment. A characterisation of leachates, which takes into account chemical, ecotoxicological and mycological aspects, is basilar for the evaluation of environmental impact of leachate and the development of suitable treatment techniques. In this study, the toxicity of a raw leachate and an effluent coming from traditional wastewater treatment plant was assessed by means of 4 ecotoxicological assays. Both the samples exceed the legal threshold value according to all the tested organisms, indicating the ineffectiveness of activated sludge treatment in the reduction of toxicity. The autochthonous mycoflora of the two samples was evaluated by filtration. The fungal load was 73 CFU for leachate and 102 CFU for the effluent. Ascomycetes were the dominant fraction (81% and 61%, for leachate and effluent respectively), followed by basidiomycetes (19% and 39%, respectively). Most of them were potential emerging pathogens. A decolourisation screening with autochthonous fungi was set up towards both samples in the presence or absence of glucose. Eleven fungi (basidiomycetes and ascomycetes) achieved up to 38% decolourisation yields, showing to be promising fungi for the bioremediation of leachates. Further experiment will be aimed to the study of decolourisation mechanism and toxicity reduction.