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  Solid Waste impacts on Water Quality

Water is essential to life. Solid waste impacts water quality through the release of leachate from landfills into water sources. As water comes in contact with decomposing solid waste, it will dissolve together with soluble inorganic and organic wastes producing polluted liquid known as leachate or waste juice.

The concentration of leachate increases as it seeps into deeper layers of the landfill; this contributes to the light brown/black colour of leachate and it's horrible stench (which is pretty similar to the smell you get from our drains due to the rotting waste that people have thrown in there). It has a high polluting potential impact due to its high concentrations of organic contaminants and high ammonical nitrogen. Once leachate is discharged into water bodies or/and aquatic environment, it will have an acute and chronic impact. If toxic metals are present, this can lead to chronic toxin accumulation in organisms that depend on it and may consequently affect humans if we feed on these organisms (e.g. fish, prawns, crabs etc.) (Wikipedia, 2009).