What is Leachate and How Do You Clean It?

Photo of leachate

Keeping Your Workspace Clean and Toxin-Free

Leachate, a term that may sound unfamiliar to many, is a crucial concern for emergency management crews, business owners, and environmentally conscious individuals. Understanding what leachate is, recognizing its presence, and knowing how to effectively clean it are essential skills in maintaining a safe and environmentally sound workspace, particularly in areas prone to oil, petroleum, and grease spills. This includes gas stations, marinas, airports, and even restaurants and golf courses.

Leachate Definition: What is Leachate?

Leachate is a liquid that forms when water percolates through any permeable material, carrying dissolved or suspended pollutants with it. It’s commonly associated with landfills, where rainwater filters through waste, resulting in a hazardous liquid. However, leachate can also form quickly via oil spills, where it becomes a mixture of water and pollutants like oil, petroleum, and grease.

Why is Leachate Dangerous?

The danger of leachate lies in its composition. It often contains harmful substances like organic and inorganic pollutants, heavy metals and xenobiotic compounds. When it seeps into soil or waterways, it poses significant risks to the environment, wildlife, and human health. In the context of oil spills, leachate can damage aquatic ecosystems, poison wildlife, and contaminate drinking water sources.

Recognizing Leachate in the Environment

Identifying leachate is the first step in addressing its hazards. In landfill scenarios, leachate often manifests as a dark liquid with a strong, unpleasant odor. In oil spill situations, it can appear as a sheen on water surfaces or as contaminated runoff in areas with oil, petroleum, or grease spills. Emergency crews and business owners should be vigilant in spotting these signs to prevent environmental damage.

If you have any questions about a possible leachate incident, contact our team of experts at OPG+ to assess the situation.

What is Landfill Leachate?

Landfill leachate specifically refers to the liquid that drains or “leaches” from a landfill. It is a complex mixture, varying in composition based on the age of the landfill, the type of waste, and the weather conditions. This form of leachate is particularly concerning due to the diverse array of pollutants it can contain, ranging from household chemicals to industrial waste.

Is Leachate Toxic?

The toxicity of leachate depends on its composition. In many cases, yes, leachate can be highly toxic. The mixture of chemicals and pollutants in leachate from landfills or oil spills can pose serious health risks to humans and animals and can be detrimental to plant life and water sources. Therefore, handling and cleaning leachate requires professional expertise and appropriate safety measures.

How to Clean Leachate: Best Practices

Cleaning leachate requires a comprehensive approach, especially when dealing with toxic substances like oil, petroleum, and grease. Traditional methods often involve physical barriers to prevent spread, followed by chemical treatments to neutralize harmful components. However, these methods can have their own environmental impacts.

Enter OPG+, an innovative cleanup service that uses a biodegradable product to eliminate oil, petroleum, and grease spills. As a part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Contingency Plan for Oil Spills, OPG+ offers a solution that is not only effective but also environmentally responsible. Their biodegradable product breaks down pollutants into harmless substances, mitigating the environmental impact and ensuring a safe clean-up process.

Leachates and Environmental Responsibility

Leachate is a significant environmental hazard, whether from landfills or oil spills. Recognizing its presence and understanding its dangers are vital first steps in mitigating its impact. Cleanup services like OPG+ play a crucial role in addressing these challenges, offering solutions that are not only effective but also environmentally friendly. By staying informed and choosing responsible cleanup methods, emergency management crews and business owners can contribute to a safer, cleaner environment.

Emergency cleanup service is available 24/7 in Florida and Georgia. Contact us to learn more or schedule an appointment.