Hydrogeochemical surveys were carried out in SW Sardinia (Italy) to investigate the impact of past mining activities on the quality of groundwater. The chemistry of waters from flooded galleries, adits and dumps was compared with that of springs and wells in the same area at sites relatively far from any mine legacy. A feature, common to all waters, is the circumneutral pH, since the carbonate formations in the area neutralise the acidity produced by the oxidation of Fe-bearing sulphide minerals in the mine impacted water. However, groundwater interacting with mine workings is degraded in quality; it shows high dissolved SO4, Zn, Cd and Pb contents. In some cases groundwater exceeds the limit established by the guidelines of the World Health Organization for Pb content in drinking water, so that groundwater is mixed before entering the local aqueducts. Results from this study suggest that more attention needs to be paid to the impact on the streams from contaminated water flowing out from some mine areas because during the dry season these streams are only fed by mine groundwater. We recommend focusing efforts to reduce the chemical contamination prior to discharge.

Impact of past mining activity on the quality of groundwater in SW Sardinia (Italy)

CIDU, ROSA;BIDDAU, RICCARDO;
2009

Abstract

Hydrogeochemical surveys were carried out in SW Sardinia (Italy) to investigate the impact of past mining activities on the quality of groundwater. The chemistry of waters from flooded galleries, adits and dumps was compared with that of springs and wells in the same area at sites relatively far from any mine legacy. A feature, common to all waters, is the circumneutral pH, since the carbonate formations in the area neutralise the acidity produced by the oxidation of Fe-bearing sulphide minerals in the mine impacted water. However, groundwater interacting with mine workings is degraded in quality; it shows high dissolved SO4, Zn, Cd and Pb contents. In some cases groundwater exceeds the limit established by the guidelines of the World Health Organization for Pb content in drinking water, so that groundwater is mixed before entering the local aqueducts. Results from this study suggest that more attention needs to be paid to the impact on the streams from contaminated water flowing out from some mine areas because during the dry season these streams are only fed by mine groundwater. We recommend focusing efforts to reduce the chemical contamination prior to discharge.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/105880
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