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Environmental mapping of water quality of the River Yamuna in Delhi with landfill locations

M. Zafar (Environment Engineering Section, Operation Division, Local Marketing, Kuwait National Petroleum Company, Safat, Kuwait)
B.J. Alappat (Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 1 December 2004

Abstract

Unfortunately in India, most landfills are located along the banks of rivers flowing through the cities. The interaction of two big, diverse and delicate ecological systems – rivers and landfills – has been investigated in this paper. During 2000, the estimated quantity of waste generation was more than 9,000 tons per day. This is one of the biggest sources of environmental degradation in Delhi, India's capital. It contributes to river pollution in a significant way through landfill leachate and runoff, especially during the rainy season. Since the 1950s over 12 large landfills have been packed with all sorts of non‐biodegradable and toxic wastes from Delhi. The area covered by landfills is at least 1 percent (14.83 sq.km) of Delhi's total area. All the landfill sites except Tilak Nagar, Hastal and Chattarpur are located close (0‐6 km) to the river Yamuna. Further, these landfills are not engineered sanitary landfills and the waste is dumped at open sites without proper compaction. A high mountain of waste can be seen at all landfill sites without a cover. The leachate produced by landfills finally percolates to the porous ground surface at the landfills or finds its way to nearby drains. A large portion of landfill leachate and runoff produced by these landfill sites finally reaches the Yamuna through ground water flow or surface water flow through the drains. The results of analysis by investigations and environmental mapping during the study clearly indicate that river water quality is affected by the presence of landfill locations, i.e. landfill leachate and landfill surface runoff.

Keywords

Citation

Zafar, M. and Alappat, B.J. (2004), "Environmental mapping of water quality of the River Yamuna in Delhi with landfill locations", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 15 No. 6, pp. 608-621. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777830410560692

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited