Benchmarking leachate co-treatment strategies in municipal wastewater treatment plants under dynamic conditions and energy prices

Dereli R. K., Giberti M., Liu Q., Flynn D., Casey E.

JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, vol.260, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 260
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.110129
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, Greenfile, Index Islamicus, MEDLINE, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Combined leachate treatment at municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is applicable to a certain extent depending on the leachate composition, treatment plant configuration and its capacity. Co-treatment of leachate at WWTPs has several advantages, but due to increasingly stringent discharge standards applied in WWTPs, it has become more problematic. This study was undertaken to investigate the impact of leachate feeding strategies on effluent quality and the aeration energy costs of WWTPs. A modified version of Benchmark Simulation Model No.1 was used to develop, test and compare several leachate feeding and WWTP control strategies in the context of dynamic pollutant loads and energy prices. The results highlighted that combined leachate treatment led to a deterioration in the quality of discharged wastewater, as indicated by a 12-20% increase in effluent quality index. Additionally, it adversely affected aeration energy demand and cost of the plant by increasing them 1.7-2.3% and 0.8-2.5%, respectively. The impacts could be mitigated by adjusting leachate flow based on effluent ammonium concentrations and by using advanced process control, i.e. feedback ammonium control for dissolved oxygen regulation in aerobic reactors. The study demonstrates that modeling can be used as a valuable tool to assess the potential impacts of leachate co-treatment and develop better management strategies.