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Environmental Implications of Tanjaro Waste Disposal Site in the City of Sulaimani

By May 7, 2022June 26th, 2022Thesis

Author: Khasraw A. R.

Publisher: University Of Sulaimani

Place: Sulaymaniyah.


This study was performed in Tanjaro, an operational waste disposal site (landfill)
located on 180 donnems (= 45000m2) of land, 10 km south of the city of Sulaimani in
Tanjaro area. It receives waste from the city with a population of (699950) inhabitants as
estimated in 2009. Sulaimani Governorate generates a daily amount of 1000 tons of solid
waste. Data for this study were collected on seasonal and monthly basis including water
samples from Tanjaro River, leachate from the dumping site, well water adjacent to
Tanjaro Landfill site and soil samples. For laboratory analysis, samples were collected
directly from different locations for physico-chemical and biological analysis. For air
ambient quality both gas-analyzer and filter-gas were used inside the study area to collect
samples and record data while microbiological contamination involved various laboratory
tests. Each sample was analysed for the major cations (Ca²+, Na+, K+, and Mg²+) , anions
(NO2-, NO3-, Cl-, and PO4-3) in addition to some heavy metals including ( Hg, Pb, Cu, Zn,Cr, Cd, Mn and Al..
Results showed that the average mean concentration values for Hydrogen ion (pH)
ranged 7.8, 7.9, 8.1 and 8.2 in Tanjaro River standing, running conditions, leachate and
well water samples respectively. The collected samples in the study area showed moderate
to strong alkaline.
Electrical Conductivity (EC) values varied from 876.4, 781.9, 24117.8 and 1125 μs/cm for
standing, running Tanjaro River, leachate and well water samples respectively. Higher
values of EC were observed in Tanjaro landfill leachate which indicate a high
concentration of dissolved solids and salts of the leachate produced in Tanjaro landfill site.
EC values were high in the majority of Tanjaro river samples where they are reflecting the
effect of effluent sources from residential and agricultural area where large amount of
drainage water and sewage from different sources enter into Tanjaro River.
The total hardness was recorded in the range of 224.7, 233.8, 281.2 and 90.2 mgL-1
as CaCO3. Tanjaro River was regarded as hard water, while leachate samples were
regarded as very hard. The maximum value of total hardness was obtained at well water
adjacent to Tanjaro landfill site. Water samples from well water considered as moderately
soft water. Results indicated that the mean concentration values of BOD (mgL-1) ranged
3.7, 2.4, 0.35 and 1.1 mgL-1 respectively. The minimum concentration value was recorded
in leachate 0.03 mgL-1 while the highest concentration value 13.9 mgL-1 was recorded in

Tanjaro River’s standing condition while drinking water for well water was categorized as
clean to fairly clean water. The average mean concentration values of Dissolved Oxygen
(DO) ranged 4.43, 4.16, 0.59 and 2.65 mgL-1 respectively. The maximum concentration
values during the studied period coincident with low value of Turbidity while (DO)
increases gradually to the direction of Darbandikhan reservoir due to the reareation and
sefl-purification. Conversion of sulfate to Hydrogen Sulfide, which is highly obnoxious in
leachate, causes a “rotten egg” smell due to the lack of DO (0.6 mgL-1)
Sewage from Sulaimani City, active gravel and sand open cast mining and washing
down of landfill components are the main causes for high Turbidity, Total Dissolved
Solids (TDS) and Total Suspended Solids (TSS) in the study area. The maximum mean
Turbidity was recorded in Tanjaro river’s running condition was 703.6 Nephlometric
Turbidity Unit (NTU), and the minimum average mean concentration value of TSS
recorded in leachate was 5350.5 mgL-1 it was due to the nature of the municipality
pollutants which are composed of different sorts of wastes. Concentration values of TDS
were high for most of the Tanjaro river locations with the average mean values of 827.8
and 1540 mgL-1 for standing and running condition respectively while for leachate was
31080 mgL-1 , this higher average mean value of leachate is due to uncontrolled condition
for this site as an open dump area.
The average mean concentration values of Sodium (Na) were 53.6, 84.5, 5144.3
and 120.92 mgL-1 while for Potassium (K) 29.4, 20.73, 1861.5 and 1.18 mgL-1 and for
Magnesium (Mg) 22.6, 20.77, 354.2 and 17.3 mgL-1 in Tanjaro river standing, running
leachate and well water respectively. The values were higher than permissible levels
recommended by different standards. Excess of Na, K, Mg concentrations in groundwater
may be due to the effect of Tanjaro landfill site and action of detergents. While for Tanjaro
River it is due to discharging of sewage effluents directly to river from Sulaimani city,
washing down of pollutants from landfill and human activities. Nevertheless, the results
show that the mean concentration values of Potassium in most well waters were within the
permissible limits for drinking.
The average mean concentration values of Cl, SO4, PO4, and NO2 were 35.4,
24.48, 3459.4 and 17.42 mgL-1 for Chloride, while 77.8, 56.8, 459.3 and 83.8 mgL-1 for
Sulfate, 8.8, 8.2, 27 and 0.2 mgL-1 for Phosphate , 0.2, 0.16, 0.72 and 0.04 mgL-1 for
Nitrite, in Tanjaro river standing, running ,leachate and well waters respectively.
Concentration of PO4 in well water was higher than permissible limits. High Sulfate
concentration was due to industrial wastes exists in landfill site which is regarded as a point source of Sulfate. Wells water show Nitrite concentration values within the
acceptable limits.
The average mean concentration values of heavy metals Hg, Pb, Cu, Zn,Cr, Cd,Mn and Fe
were 0.59, 0.34, 12.1,and 0.29 mgL-1 for Hg, while for Pb 0.42, 0.35, 0.46 and 0.28 mgL-1
and for Cu 0.06, 0.06, 0.15 and 0.06 mgL-1 and for Zn 0.05, 0.04, 0.75 and 0.21 mgL-1 for
Cr 0.16, 0.22, 0.7, and 0.24 mgL-1 for Cd 0.08, 0.08, 0.12 and 0.05 mgL-1 for Mn 0.15,
0.17, 4.75 and 0.01 mgL-1 and for Fe 0.05, 0.06, 2.4 and 0.12 mgL-1 in Tanjaro river
standing and running, leachate and well water respectively.
The results revealed that the dump site leachate samples recorded high
concentration of heavy metals (except Mn, Zn and Fe) which exceeded the permissible
recommended values due to composition of solid waste that has been dumped daily which
contains different variety of industrial products, municipal, hazardous and medical wastes.
While mean concentration values of heavy metals in Tanjaro river showed lower values.
Most of the studied samples from the river showed pollution by heavy metals (except Zn,
Cu, Al and Fe) which exceeded permissible recommended values due to impact of sewage
waste water from Sulaimani city, location of landfill site adjacent to river, and
anthropogenic activities. Levels of heavy metals were relatively high in well water
adjacent to landfill site. Nearly all well water samples were exceeding the permissible
recommended values for drinking purpose except Fe, Mn and Al.
Bacteriological characteristics showed that the mean value of total bacterial count
was 21.8 × 109 ,344.6 × 109 and 4.36 × 109 CFU/ ml (Colony Forming Units), while for
total coliform 1217,2400 and 816.5 and for faecal coliform was found to be too many
numbers to count for running ,standing condition in Tanjaro river and landfill leachate
respectively. Higher bacterial count and the existence of the thermotolerant faecal coliform
in all samples gave higher faecal pollution according to standards. Results also showed
higher coliform mean number and total bacterial count for Tanjaro River as compared to
Tanjaro landfill leachate.
Results from Ambient Air Quality represented the level of RPM10, SPM, SO2,
NOx, CO and HC, were higher than the concentration objectives given by the World Bank
Ambient air quality norms.
Evidence of health problem had been seen in the level of complains of inhabitants
in the vicinity of the site and the increase in cancer cases in Sulaimani governorate
according to Hewa Oncology Hospital indicate the harmful consequences of Tanjaro
landfill site.

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Issue date: 2010

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