Guidelines for treatment and reuse of leachate from municipal solid waste (MSW) incineration plants

This document provides guidelines for the treatment and reuse of MSW leachate. It is applicable to personnel involved in the design, management, operation and supervision of the treatment and reuse of MSW leachate and environmental authorities engaged in regulation.

Lignes directrices pour le traitement et la réutilisation du lixiviat provenant des installations d'incinération des déchets ménagers

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Status
Published
Publication Date
28-Jul-2022
Current Stage
6060 - International Standard published
Due Date
30-Jul-2022
Completion Date
29-Jul-2022
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ISO 24297:2022 - Guidelines for treatment and reuse of leachate from municipal solid waste (MSW) incineration plants Released:29. 07. 2022
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INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 24297
First edition
2022-07
Guidelines for treatment and reuse of
leachate from municipal solid waste
(MSW) incineration plants
Lignes directrices pour le traitement et la réutilisation du lixiviat
provenant des installations d'incinération des déchets ménagers
Reference number
ISO 24297:2022(E)
© ISO 2022
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ISO 24297:2022(E)
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© ISO 2022

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may

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© ISO 2022 – All rights reserved
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ISO 24297:2022(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions .................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Abbreviated terms ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 2

5 General principles .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 3

5.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.2 Safety............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.3 Reliability .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 4

5.4 Stability ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 4

5.5 Economic sustainability ................................................................................................................................................................. 4

5.6 Environment ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 4

6 Quantity and quality of the MSW leachate ............................................................................................................................... 4

6.1 Quantity ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 4

6.2 Quality ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 5

6.3 Influencing factors and considerations ............................................................................................................................ 6

7 Treatment system design for the MSW leachate ............................................................................................................... 6

7.1 Treatment process ............................................................................................................................................................................... 6

7.2 Treatment system ................................................................................................................................................................................ 7

7.2.1 Preliminary treatment .................................................................................................................................................. 7

7.2.2 Biological treatment ........................................................................................................................................................ 8

7.2.3 Advanced treatment for reuse ............................................................................................................................... 9

7.3 M onitoring system ........................................................................................................................................................................... 10

7.4 Auxiliary treatment ........................................................................................................................................................................ 11

7.4.1 General ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 11

7.4.2 Sludge ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 11

7.4.3 Concentrate .......................................................................................................................................................................... 11

7.4.4 Biogas ........................................................................................................................................................................................12

7.4.5 Odour .........................................................................................................................................................................................12

7.4.6 Foam ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 12

7.4.7 Noise ...........................................................................................................................................................................................12

8 Reuse of treated leachate ........................................................................................................................................................................12

8.1 Reuse application considerations .......................................................................................................................................12

8.2 Reclaimed water quality considerations ......................................................................................................................12

9 Environmental and occupational health and safety ...................................................................................................13

9.1 Identification of health and safety risks ....................................................................................................................... 13

9.2 Establishment of health and safety programmes ................................................................................................ 13

9.3 Safety considerations in system design ........................................................................................................................ 13

9.4 Implementation of health and safety equipment .................................................................................................. 14

9.5 Training ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 14

9.6 Management of incidents and emergencies ............................................................................................................... 14

Annex A (informative) Process parameters for leachate treatment system design ......................................15

Annex B (informative) Quantity generation of MSW leachate ..............................................................................................17

Annex C (informative) Potential treatment options for MSW leachate .......................................................................18

Annex D (informative) Overview of MSW composition and treatment .......................................................................19

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................28

iii
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ISO 24297:2022(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www.iso.org/directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www.iso.org/patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to

the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), see

www.iso.org/iso/foreword.html.

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 282, Water reuse, Subcommittee SC 2,

Water reuse in urban areas.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www.iso.org/members.html.
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ISO 24297:2022(E)
Introduction

Commonly used methods for disposal of municipal solid waste (MSW) include landfilling, incineration

and composting (Annex D), and each of these methods generates leachate. Leachate is a kind of

wastewater containing highly concentrated organic contaminants that can pose a high risk to the

environment. It is necessary for leachate to have proper treatment before being discharged or reused

to avoid adverse impacts on the environment. Due to the differences in duration of waste stacking and

fermenting, leachate from different MSW disposal methods varies significantly in the concentration and

biodegradability of organic matter, which requires tailored treatment processes. Leachate generated

from MSW incineration plants has a higher concentration of biodegradable organic pollutants, and

thus degrades more easily than leachate from landfills and composting plants. Due to higher quality

requirements for water reuse in MSW incineration plants, this document focuses on leachate treatment

and reuse in MSW incineration plants.

In MSW incineration plants the MSW first enters the unloading platform and then goes to the MSW

pit, where stacking and fermentation occurs. The stacking and fermenting process aims to reduce

moisture content of the MSW before incineration. The MSW leachate has a strong odour and high

concentrations of organic and inorganic compounds; it includes stacking and fermenting wastewater

and unloading platform flushing water. Many kinds of wastewater, such as municipal wastewater,

industrial wastewater and stormwater, are used as sources of reclaimed water to address worldwide

water shortages caused by economic growth, increasing populations, climate change and other factors.

The quality and quantity of MSW leachate can vary based on climate, residents’ living habits,

composition of waste and waste collection and separation systems. Therefore, leachate treatment can

be more challenging than other kinds of wastewater treatment. Due to the complex composition of

leachate and the high concentrations of pollutants, a combined treatment process is usually necessary

for leachate treatment to meet environmental requirements and intended reuse applications. The

essential components of the leachate treatment and reuse system include pretreatment, biological

treatment and advanced treatment.

In consideration of the problems in the treatment of MSW leachate and the absence of relevant

International Standards, an integrated standard is needed to guide the treatment and reuse of MSW

leachate.

This document aims to provide design and operation principles and advice for MSW leachate treatment

and reuse in MSW incineration plants. It considers and addresses the critical issues and factors in the

design and operation of treatment and reuse systems and is intended to assist engineers, authorities,

decision-makers and stakeholders in providing a clear structure and feasible approach for safe and

reliable treatment and reuse of MSW leachate.
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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 24297:2022(E)
Guidelines for treatment and reuse of leachate from
municipal solid waste (MSW) incineration plants
1 Scope
This document provides guidelines for the treatment and reuse of MSW leachate.

It is applicable to personnel involved in the design, management, operation and supervision of the

treatment and reuse of MSW leachate and environmental authorities engaged in regulation.

2 Normative references

The following documents are referred to in the text in such a way that some or all of their content

constitutes requirements of this document. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For

undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.

ISO 20670, Water reuse — Vocabulary
3 Terms and definitions

For the purposes of this document, the terms and definitions given in ISO 20670 and the following apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminology databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at https:// www .electropedia .org/
3.1
municipal solid waste
MSW
waste stream consisting of end-of-life-materials
[SOURCE: ISO 16559:2022, 3.135, modified — Notes to entry removed.]
3.2
MSW leachate

mixture of flushing water from the waste unloading platform and wastewater generated during the

stacking and fermenting (3.3) process
3.3
stacking and fermenting

process to reduce moisture content of MSW and to degrade the organic materials in a MSW pit, during

which leachate is generated
3.4
leachate treatment system
treatment units that receive and treat municipal solid waste leachate

Note 1 to entry: Leachate treatment systems include those for preliminary treatment, biological treatment,

advanced treatment, disposal of sludge and concentrate and odour control.
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ISO 24297:2022(E)
3.5
aerobic biological treatment
biological treatment in the presence of oxygen
[SOURCE: ISO 11074:2015, 6.4.1]
3.6
anoxic biological treatment

biological treatment process in which nitrate and/or nitrite are reduced by microbes in the absence of,

or with minimal, dissolved oxygen concentration with molecular nitrogen (N ) ultimately produced

3.7
membrane bioreactor
MBR

integrated wastewater treatment process combining a suspended growth biological treatment and a

membrane filtration system (UF/MF membrane) replacing conventional secondary clarifier

Note 1 to entry: The MF or UF membrane is submerged in the biological reactor (submerged MBR). Another

configuration has pressurized membrane modules externally coupled to the bioreactor, with the biomass

recirculated between the membrane modules and the bioreactor by pumping (side-stream MBR).

[SOURCE: ISO 20468-5:2021, 3.1.12]
3.8
filtrate
liquid by-product from a filter press or other sludge dewatering devices
4 Abbreviated terms
A/O anoxic or aerobic biological treatment
BOD five-day biochemical oxygen demand
CAPEX capital expenditure
COD chemical oxygen demand
DO dissolved oxygen
DTRO disc-tube reverse osmosis
HRT hydraulic retention time
IC internal circulation anaerobic reactor
MBR membrane bioreactor
MF microfiltration
MLSS mixed liquor suspended solids
MVR mechanical vapour recompression
NF nanofiltration
ammonium nitrogen as N
NH −N
OLR organic loading rate
OPEX operating expenditure
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ISO 24297:2022(E)
ORP oxidation-reduction potential
RO reverse osmosis
SBR sequencing batch reactor
SCE submerged combustion evaporation
SDI silt density index
SS suspended solids
STRO spiral-tube reverse osmosis
TDS total dissolved solids
TN total nitrogen
TP total phosphorus
UASB upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor
UBF upflow anaerobic sludge bed-filter reactor
UF ultrafiltration
VFA volatile fatty acids
5 General principles
5.1 General

The principles of safety, reliability, stability and economic viability and sustainability should be

incorporated in the design of the treatment and reuse system for the MSW leachate. The quality of

treated leachate should meet requirements for water reuse applications, be appropriate and safe for

end users and protect human health and the environment from the adverse impacts of pathogens, toxic

chemical contaminants and nutrients contained in the leachate.
5.2 Safety

The MSW leachate can contain highly concentrated salts, refractory organics, ammonium nitrogen,

pathogens and heavy metals, which can impact human health, the environment and equipment. For

example, highly concentrated salts can cause soil salinization, scaling and corrosion of equipment.

Organics and ammonium nitrogen can pollute water. Heavy metals and pathogens can impact human

health. It is important to take into consideration the quality of treated leachate in terms of physical,

chemical and microbiological indicators to ensure safe reuse.

Mature and reliable technologies should be applied to attaining required effluent and reuse quality, as

well as minimizing adverse environmental impacts. Validated and verified new technologies, processes,

materials and equipment can also be adopted to improve treatment efficiency and effectiveness,

optimize operation and management, save energy and reduce capital expenditure (CAPEX) and

operating expenditure (OPEX). In addition, the quantity and quality of the leachate, the objectives of

treatment, the intended purpose for water reuse, technological performance of the treatment facilities,

location of the treatment facilities and land availability should be considered in the selection of

technology and design of the process.
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ISO 24297:2022(E)
5.3 Reliability

The characteristics of the MSW leachate should be considered to ensure that the treatment and

reuse system can perform its prescribed function without failure and the effluent quality can meet

the demand of intended reuse purposes. The following aspects should be considered to ensure the

reliability of the treatment and reuse system:
a) the peak leachate quality and quantity;
b) the demand for water reuse applications;
c) redundancy of systems and/or equipment;
d) effectiveness and efficiency of treatment technologies and processes;

e) monitoring programme, including operational monitoring, water quality monitoring, alarm

systems and response plans for critical aspects to detect the performance of treatment processes

and effluent quality;
f) operations, control and proactive maintenance.
5.4 Stability

When designing the treatment system, the operational stability and effluent quality stability should

be assessed to ensure that the requirements of intended reuse applications are met. In view of the

complexities of the leachate quality, a combined process approach and online monitoring system should

be adopted to reduce the risks of effluent non-compliance. Redundant systems can also be considered,

which involves the addition of measures beyond the minimum needs to ensure performance targets are

consistently achieved.

The stability of treated leachate quality should also be considered by assessing parameters, such as pH,

alkalinity, temperature, hardness, anions such as sulfate and chloride and cations such as calcium and

magnesium.
5.5 Economic sustainability

Economic evaluations should consider both CAPEX and OPEX. CAPEX includes acquiring property,

plants, buildings, technology or equipment. OPEX includes operation, maintenance and repair. An

economic and technological comparison between different technologies should be conducted, taking

into account, for example, quality and quantity of the leachate, demand of water reuse applications and

energy cost, before designing a proper leachate treatment system.
5.6 Environment

The reuse of treated leachate should consider the environmental impacts of contaminants in leachate.

Water sampling should be at the main outlet of the reclaimed water system.

Preventive measures should be implemented to avoid adverse impacts caused by residual sludge, odour,

concentrate and noise generated during the operation of the leachate treatment and reuse system on

the ambient ecosystem (soil, air quality, noise levels and surface and groundwater).

6 Quantity and quality of the MSW leachate
6.1 Quantity

MSW leachate is generated principally by flushing the unloading platform and waste stacking and

fermenting, as shown in Figure 1. The determination of the quantity of leachate produced is of critical

concern for the design and operation of the treatment and reuse system. In general, the quantity of

the leachate generated from waste stacking and fermenting can be estimated based on the available

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ISO 24297:2022(E)

data from local MSW incineration plants or those in other similar regions. In the absence of reference

information, the quantity of the leachate can be estimated according to the MSW moisture content and

duration of waste stacking and fermenting. The quantity of flushing water can be estimated based on

the water consumption in a single flushing and the frequency of flushing. Cases of leachate quantity

data are given in Annex B.
Figure 1 — Flow chart of a typical MSW incineration plant
6.2 Quality

The MSW leachate varies in composition depending on the type of waste, and it can contain high

concentrations of organic matters, ammonium nitrogen and salts. Concentration of COD can reach

tens of thousands of milligrams per litre. Concentration of ammonium nitrogen and salts can also reach

several thousand milligrams per litre. The high concentrations of contaminants bring challenges to the

treatment process and if not treated properly can pose a potential risk to the environment. The quality

characteristics of the leachate affect the design and operation of the treatment process. The readily

biodegradable organic matter contained in MSW leachate makes biological processes practicable for

treatment. However, the high concentrations of ammonium nitrogen and high salinity in the MSW

leachate should be noted, as they can inhibit the microbial activity and thus affect the effectiveness and

efficiency of the biological treatment process or overwhelm the biological treatment.

The typical ranges of quality characteristics of the MSW leachate are given in Table 1. When data on

the leachate quality are unavailable, the value ranges given in Table 1 can serve as a reference for MSW

incineration power plants.
[9]–[17]
Table 1 — Characteristics of the leachate quality
Parameter Units Values
COD mg/l 20 000 to 75 000
BOD mg/l 10 000 to 50 000
mg/l 500 to 2 500
NH −N
TP mg/l 50 to 150
TN mg/l 1 500 to 3 000
SS mg/l 1 000 to 15 000
pH — 5 to 7
mg/l 50 to 3 000
S mg/l 0 to 50
TDS mg/l 10 000 to 25 000
Cl mg/l 500 to 5 000
Na mg/l 1 000 to 4 000
Mg mg/l 300 to 1 500
Ca mg/l 500 to 6 000
Fe mg/l 0 to 1 000
Mn mg/l 0 to 50
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ISO 24297:2022(E)
Table 1 (continued)
Parameter Units Values
Zn mg/l 0 to 50
Pb mg/l 0 to 8
Ni mg/l 0,05 to 5
As μg/l 40 to 120
Pd mg/l 0,05 to 0,2
Cr mg/l 0,05 to 1,5
6.3 Influencing factors and considerations

The quantity and quality of the MSW leachate are affected by factors such as waste classification,

waste collection and transportation system, composition of domestic waste, separation of organics

and plastics, moisture content, duration of stacking and fermenting, seasonal changes, local climate

and residents’ living habits (Annex D). The varying waste classification systems from different areas

can change the composition and moisture content of MSW and can impact the quantity and quality

of leachate. In the rainy season or in rainy areas, the entry of rainwater during waste collection and

transportation can increase the quantity of leachate and at the same time lower the concentration of the

pollutants. Therefore, the factors mentioned should be fully considered when estimating the quantity

and quality of the leachate.

In determining the quantity and quality of leachate, data comparisons with local MSW incineration

plants and/or those in similar areas should also be considered in estimating ranges of the quality and

quantity of the MSW leachate. To ensure that the MSW leachate can be treated in a timely manner,

fluctuations of the quality and quantity of the leachate, and required operating time, should be

considered in determining the capacity of the treatment system.
7 Treatment system design for the MSW leachate
7.1 Treatment process

MSW leachate has a high concentration of pollutants with complex constituents. Treatment process

combinations with several different technologies are required to ensure the reliability and stability

of the treatment system. The leachate treatment system (Figure 2) normally comprises preliminary

treatment, biological treatment and advanced treatment. In some cases, the combined processes of

preliminary treatment + advanced treatment or biological treatment + advanced treatment can also be

adopted, depending on the quantity and quality of the leachate to be treated and the requirements for

reclaimed water quality and use.
Figure 2 — Process flow chart of the leachate treatment system

To increase safety and address reliability concerns, if temporary interruptions are not allowed

or alternative water resources are not available, equipment redundancy is required to ensure

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ISO 24297:2022(E)

performance targets are consistently achieved without interruption during maintenance and overhaul

of the treatment system. The treatment and reuse system should be designed in two or more trains so

that the total treatment capacity of all trains is sufficient for treating all MSW leachate. If the design

treatment capacity is relatively low, a single system design can also be considered.

The main objectives of preli
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