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Column leach tests with distilled water have been used routinely over the past four years to assess the leachability of industrial wastes. Most tests are run using unsaturated flow condition with three cuts of leachate obtained over 24, 48, and 72 h. Leachate cuts are analyzed for concentrations of inorganic ions, phenols, dissolved organic carbon, conductivity, and pH. It is shown that in many situations ionic and organic flux over the three cuts follow the penetration theory of diffusivity. The relationship held over a wide range of types of waste and initial pollutant concentration. Some bag-house dusts and mine tailings were found to be highly leachable even with distilled water.
Some tests were run using distilled water saturated with carbon dioxide to provide weak acidic conditions. The water leach is followed by 0.1 N acetic acid to simulate the effect of co-disposal with municipal waste.
Some wastes were tested using the Extraction Procedure (EP) test of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
leach, solid wastes, extraction procedure, hazardous wastes
Supervisor, Laboratory Services Branch, Ontario Ministry of Environment, Rexdale, Ont.