In this study, a specific landfill leachate (1200 mgl−1 COD and 600 mgl−1 BOD5) was used to develop a standardised short-term acute and longer-term sublethal ex-situ toxicity testing programme, in order to determine the potential ecological implications of leaching contaminants reaching the water table. Bioassays were undertaken with juvenile Gammarus pulex and Asellus aquaticus macro-invertebrates. Preliminary acute test variables included static and static renewed flow rates for 96-h, starved and fed specimens, and aerobic and oxygen depleting conditions. However, regardless of any test variable, the lethal concentration (LC50) for A. aquaticus remained at 12.3% v/v leachate in deionised water, whilst that for G. pulex was only 1%. Sublethal toxicity was judged on the basis of frequency of births and the growth rate of newly born individuals. Tests showed that even a dilution as high as 1:66- would influence the fecundity of a Gammarus population, whilst a dilution of 1:20 would affect the size of an Asellus breeding colony.