Environmental Geology

Soil and water pollution derived from anthropogenic activities in the Porsuk River Basin, Turkey

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Courtesy of Environmental Geology

Abstract 
This study aims to investigate the degree of the influence of contaminant sources on both the surface (Porsuk River) and groundwater in the Eskisehir plain, (Turkey) and to determine the changes in groundwater quality after the sewage system was started in 1998. For this purpose surface and groundwater samples were collected from various locations in the Eskisehir plain between May and October, 2001. The Porsuk River is already polluted in the upstream wastewater and by industries such as Nitrogen Fertilizer Factory, Sugar-beet Factory, and Magnesite Factory located around the city of Kutahya. This high-contaminated water forms an eutrophic environment which generates high phosphorus and nitrogen in downstream flow. Agricultural and industrial activities in the Eskisehir plain are an additional source of the pollution of the Porsuk River. The study revealed that some trace elements, Pb, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Cd, are present in high concentrations both in the surface and groundwater besides extremely high quantities of phosphorus, nitrogen and sulfide compounds. In addition, analyses of samples also indicated that there are no considerable contaminations in terms of local pesticides. High concentration of Cd, N and S are found in the groundwater. On the basis of a detailed analysis of the groundwater in the Eskisehir plain, it is concluded that groundwater is not suitable for drinking according to Turkish standards, European Union Standards (EU) and World Health Organization (WHO).

Keywords: Porsuk River - Diffuse pollution - Point source pollution - Chemical status

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00254-006-0175-7

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