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Environmental & Socio-economic Studies DOI: 10.2478/environ-2022-0002 Environ. Socio.-econ. Stud., 2022, 10, 1: 13-21 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Original article Groundwater quality testing in the area of municipal waste landfill sites in Dąbrowa Górnicza (southern Poland) Martyna Łukasik, Dominika Dąbrowska* Institute of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia in Katowice, 60 Będzińska Str., 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland E–mail address (*corresponding author): firstname.lastname@example.org ORCID iD: Martyna Łukasik: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4160-1083; Dominika Dąbrowska: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6762-8885 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A B S T R A C T Groundwater quality assessment for pollution can be undertaken with the use of indicators that will confirm or deny the negative impact of potential pollution sources. Based on water quality monitoring data from the Lipówka I and Lipówka II municipal landfill sites in Dąbrowa Górnicza from the last five years, the water quality in the area was assessed using the Nemerow Pollution Index (NPI) method. Seven parameters were assessed – pH, electrical conductivity, and the concentrations of chlorides, sulphates, ammonium ions, boron and iron. The limits for class III water quality were used as the reference level. The results of the NPI calculations show that the highest indices were obtained for the piezometers PZ5 and T5 located in the outflow of the water from the Lipówka I landfill site. The highest values of the Nemerow index were obtained for ammonium ions and reached a value of over 36 in the PZ5 piezometer and 17 in the T5 piezometer. The other parameters did not indicate a significant impact of the landfill sites on the quality of groundwater. The highest values of the indicators were observed in 2017. It is worth noting that, apart from the large differences in the content of ammonium ions, the values of th e Nemerow indices for the electrical conductivity specifically for the PZ5 piezometer are twice as high as for the other piezometers and four times higher than for boron. The Nemerow index is a useful and easy method of assessing the quality of groundwater. It can even be used for a small number of parameters. KEY WORDS: water quality, landfill sites, Nemerow index, municipal waste, Dąbrowa Górnicza ARTICLE HISTORY: received 4 September 2021; received in revised form 24 December 2021; accepted 10 January 2022 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 1. Introduction contaminants deserve attention, these are: heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, steroids, The increase in the production of municipal and pesticides (MOHRLING, 2007). waste in the world (YANG ET AL., 2018) causes an There is a need to conduct reliable groundwater increase in the need for storage of this waste monitoring studies in order to counteract the negative (DĄBROWSKA & RYKAŁA, 2021). Several methods effects of pollution migration to groundwater are available for the disposal of waste, but the (DĄBROWSKA ET AL., 2018; GOMO & MASEMOLA, 2016). most popular procedure is burial in landfill sites. The protection of groundwater in the region of Once buried the waste undergoes different processes pollution sources also plays a key role in rational such as the mineralization of organic forms of water management (ROBINS ET AL., 1998). The results nitrogen, sulphur, and phosphorus, and these of monitoring tests can be analyzed statistically, cause the creation of new compounds (SOBIK, 2007). but they can also be used to calculate indicators Pollutants leach from waste and if these are not which take into account selected physicochemical transferred to the leachate tank, they migrate into parameters. Groundwater quality assessment in groundwater and negatively affect groundwater the area of pollution hotspots should be both quality (TAYLOR ET AL., 2004). The best known temporal and spatial. This means that the values of the indicators should be calculated for the entire Górnicza (southern Poland). The aim of the study observation network around the repository and was to investigate the patterns of the Nemerow extend over the largest possible period of time Index and to determine the highest water pollution (NIELSEN, 2006). based on the results of monitoring from the There are lots of quality indices which can be observation network of these landfill sites between used for the classification of water quality and can the years 2016-2020. thus be indirectly used to assess the vulnerability of groundwater to pollution or environmental risk 2. Study area (PRITCHARD, 2013). The principal component analysis method or the fuzzy analysis methods (GAO & JIN, The system of municipal landfill sites Lipówka I 2005; OUYANG, 2005) can also be used as and Lipówka II is located in the south-eastern complementary analyses to the calculation of the part of Dąbrowa Górnicza in the Strzemieszyce Małe pollution indicators. district (southern Poland; Fig. 1). The Lipówka I When selecting the parameters to be used to landfill site was established in 1992, and the calculate the quality indicators, the risk of specific Lipówka II landfill site in 2005. The following factors is identified (CHARTRES ET AL., 2019). The first types of waste are brought to the municipal water quality indicators appeared in the mid-1800s landfill (39,200 Mg/year): biodegradable kitchen (ABBASI & ABASSI, 2012). The most popular measure waste, green waste, paper and cardboard, multi- of water quality assessment is the Water Quality material packaging, plastics, glass, metals, clothing, Index (WQI) and its modifications (DEBELS ET AL., textiles, wood, hazardous waste, bulky waste, waste 2005; KANNEL ET AL., 2007; LOWE ET AL., 2017; SUN ET electrical and electronic equipment and renovation AL., 2016). Since the creation of the first index by and construction waste. Waste is segregated Horton, more than 35 modifications have been mechanically and manually. developed, which are currently used in the Both landfill sites are equipped with a leachate assessment of the quality of surface and drainage system and a liner system. The liner system groundwater. Each model of the WQI involves a few for the Lipówka I landfill consists of the following calculation steps, including selection of the water elements: native soil, a layer of sand (drainage under quality parameters, generation of the parameter the seal) – 15 cm thick, blast furnace slag – 27 cm sub-indices, determination of the parameter weight thick, asphalt concrete, medium-grained, with a values and calculating the index (LUMBET AL., 2011). partially closed structure – thickness 4.0 cm, fine- Different pollution indices are very effective tools grained asphalt concrete, with a closed structure – to analyze monitoring data and are helpful to the gr. 4.0 cm and asphalt. The seepage water reservoir public and to decision makers (CAEIRO ET. AL., 2005; – made of reinforced concrete has two chambers WU ET AL., 2018). with dimensions of 24 x 6 m and a usable depth of Other examples of indicators that use different about 7.0 m, completely embedded in the ground. physicochemical parameters are the Backman index Rainwater percolating through the landfill, seeps (BACKMAN ET AL., 1998; KARKOCHA, 2021; KNOPEK & through the waste and is captured by a system of DĄBROWSKA, 2021) or a modified version of the WQI drainage pipes placed on the bottom in a gravel - Landfill Water Pollution Index (TALALAJ, 2014). filtration layer. The sewage by gravity is discharged Another example of the index is the Nemerow through a pipeline to the collecting well through Water Quality Index method (NWQI) which was the gate valve chamber, from where, using a pump created by Nemerow and Sumitomo in the 1970s and a discharge pipeline, it is transferred to a (NEMEROW, 1974). It is worth noting that this two-chamber retention tank and then transferred method was also used for surface water quality to the treatment plant. Under the sealed bottom evaluation in China by China's environmental of the landfill basin, a drainage system was made protection department (ZHANG, 2017). An important to collect groundwater. The groundwater is collected advantage of this indicator over others is that it within a system of PVC drainage pipes and discharged does not require weights of individual parameters, by gravity to the drainage water reservoir, where and each parameter can be considered separately. it is temporarily stored for firefighting purposes In this article calculations of the Nemerow Water of waste, sprinkling the waste deposit and watering Quality Index were performed for groundwater greenery in the reclamation process. The excess quality assessment in the region of Lipówka I and water is discharged as overflow to the rainwater Lipówka II municipal landfill sites in Dąbrowa drainage system. Fig. 1. Study area In the case of the Lipówka II landfill, the liner part of the Roet consists of bedded dolomites and system consists of the following elements: a bentonite limestones (ALEXANDROWICZ & ALEXANDROWICZ, 1960). mat with a basis weight of 5000 g/m and a hydraulic Muschelkalk is connected with carbonate formations. -11 conductivity value k <5 ‧ 10 m/s, a PEHD The Quaternary deposits occur in the depressions geomembrane with a thickness of 2.0 mm, geotextile of the terrain lying on the Triassic carbonate > 800 g/m and a 10-15 cm thick barrier composed formations and are built from silt, clay and sand. of a single layer of cohesive soil. The leachate In this region glacial tills of the South Polish drainage system includes a drainage layer – 0.5 m Glaciation were found (CABAŁA & CABAŁA, 2004). -3 with a hydraulic conductivity of 10 m/s. Collective In the area of the municipal landfill sites, there pipelines are made of PEHD material with a diameter are two water-bearing layers: Quaternary and Triassic of 176 mm/150 mm. The leachate is collected in a aquifers. The Quaternary layer is characterized 2300 m tank and excess leachate is sent to the by a variable thickness and a lack of continuity. treatment plant. It is associated with fluvioglacial sands with a The municipal landfill of Lipówka II is equipped thickness < 6 m. The general direction of the with a groundwater monitoring system represented groundwater flow in this aquifer is southerly. This by piezometers PZ1, PZ2, PZ3, PZ4 and PZ5 (Fig. 1), aquifer is directly recharged with infiltrating water. -6 the last two of which also monitor the groundwater The hydraulic conductivity is about 7.1‧10 m/s. in the region of the Lipówka I landfill. Piezometers The groundwater tables are either unconfined or are located about 25 meters deep. The water table locally confined (SOŁTYSIAK ET AL., 2018). The Triassic is located at a depth of about 20 meters. The filter aquifer is connected with dolomites and limestones. zone is located approx. 1 m below the water table. The main aquifer is of the Roet type. The thickness of this unconfined aquifer is up to 20 m, while the -4 3. Geological and hydrogeological conditions hydraulic conductivity is about 1.57‧10 m/s. Both landfill sites are located in the north-eastern 4. Methodology part of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (STUPNICKA, 2007). The most important part of the geological Samples were analyzed following the standard profile of the study area are the Triassic and methods for examination of water bodies on the Quaternary formations. The Triassic sediments basis of Regulation of the Minister of Maritime are represented by formations of lower and Economy and Inland Navigation of October 11, middle Buntsandstein, Roet, and locally of 2019 on the criteria and method of assessing the Muschelkalk. The Buntsandsteins are represented state of groundwater bodies (Journal of Laws by conglomerates, sands, sandstones, siltstones 2019 item 2148). As the values to which the and claystones. Roet formations are dolomitic marl, monitoring results were compared, the limits for marl dolomites and marl limestone. The upper class III water quality were adopted, which correspond to the good status of groundwater. Over time, the electrical conductivity remains The parameters analyzed were pH, electric constant at almost all points. The smallest conductivity, chlorides, sulphates, ammonium ion, differentiation can be observed in the waters of boron and iron. The results are of chemical analyzes the PZ4 piezometer. The greatest fluctuations occur for piezometers belonging to the observation in the case of the PZ5 piezometer. It should be networks around the described municipal waste noted that similar trends in changes occur for the landfills from the years 2016-2020. piezometers PZ3 and T5, additionally a similar The Nemerow Pollution Index (NPI) is one of trend, but the shift occurs for piezometer PZ1. the most popular methods which can be used to Based on these incomplete results, it is also evaluate the status of water quality (ZHANG ET AL., possible to find similar changes in the EC values 2018). It is calculated on the basis of the following for water in the PZ4 and PZ5 piezometers (Fig. 3). formula: Table 1. Nemerow Pollution Index values NPI , Piezometer Parameter Max NPI Min NPI Avg NPI PZ1 pH - - - where: Conductivity 0.350 0.252 0.313 th C is the measured value of the i parameter NH 1.467 0.087 0.282 th Cl 0.060 0.012 0.033 L is the allowable limit of the i parameter SO4 0.172 0.056 0.123 B 0.096 0.005 0.033 When the values of the indicators for individual Fe 0.022 0.003 0.010 parameters are lower than or equal to 1, it means PZ2 pH - - - that the water is within the acceptable range for Conductivity 0.398 0.330 0.367 class III water quality and there is no visible impact NH 0.8 0.18 0.315 of the landfill. The limit values were: 2500 µS/cm Cl 0.464 0.208 0.300 SO 0.5 0.296 0.409 for conductivity, 250 mg/l for chlorides and 4 B 0.195 0.005 0.093 sulphates, 1.5 mg/l for ammonium, 1 mg/l for boron Fe 0.033 0.0032 0.017 and 5 mg/l for iron. In the case of pH, it was PZ3 pH - - - checked that the measured value was in the range Conductivity 0.348 0.212 0.304 of 6.5-9.5. The higher the value of the index for NH4 1.333 0.087 0.219 individual parameters, the more negative the impact Cl 0.2 0.026 0.125 of the landfill on the quality of the groundwater. SO 0.496 0.152 0.355 Piezometers PZ1, PZ2, PZ3 and T5 were tested B 0.6 0.033 0.114 quarterly, and piezometers PZ4 and PZ5 once Fe 0.017 0.001 0.007 every six months. PZ4 pH - - - Conductivity 0.424 0.324 0.347 5. Results and discussion NH4 19 0.087 9.365 Cl 0.720 0.208 0.365 SO 0.720 0.440 0.614 The values of the Nemerow index were calculated B 0.220 0.005 0.070 based on data from piezometers capturing the Fe 0.002 0.006 0.013 Triassic aquifer (Table 1). The water from the PZ5 pH - - - Triassic aquifer was classified as weakly alkaline. Conductivity 0.808 0.269 0.648 The maximum pH value (8.2) was found in the T5 NH4 36.133 3.867 11.544 piezometer. All pH values recorded in the monitoring Cl 1.280 0.092 0.951 network in the analyzed period of time met the SO4 1.320 0.030 0.941 range for quality class III. The numerical value of B 0.980 0.024 0.498 the Nemerow index was not calculated for this Fe 0.019 0.002 0.010 parameter. The lowest pH values were recorded T5 pH - - - in the PZ2 piezometer, and the highest in the T5 Conductivity 0.320 0.238 0.277 NH 17.400 2.200 8.639 piezometer. The greatest differences were found 4 Cl 0.800 0.076 0.221 in the T5 piezometer. Similar trends of changes SO4 0.800 0.016 0.206 also occurred in this piezometer and PZ3 (Fig 2A). B 0.428 0.005 0.0956 The average value of the specific electrolytic Fe 1.638 0.001 0.089 conductivity for most piezometers did not exceed 1000 µS/cm. Much higher values, reaching over 2000 µS/cm, were recorded in the PZ5 piezometer. Fig. 2. Changes in pH values Fig. 3. Changes in EC values Groundwater in this region is characterized by In the piezometers PZ1, PZ2 and PZ3, there are a high content of nitrogen compounds, with no significant differences in the content of this particular emphasis on the ammonium ion (Fig. 4). ion throughout the entire research period. On the In the case of the PZ5 piezometer, the concentration other hand, large fluctuations can be seen in the of this ion was close to 55 mg/l. This may prove remaining three points. A significant increase in the existence of reducing conditions. In the case the concentration of this ion took place in 2017. of this piezometer, the NPI value for ammonium Chlorides are a characteristic parameter for waters ions exceeded 36. The lowest ammonium ion in the area of municipal landfill sites. Significantly values were observed in the waters of the PZ2 high values for this parameter, from 150 to 320 mg/l, piezometer. The calculated NPI value for this were found in piezometers PZ4, PZ5, T5 (Fig. 5). piezometer did not exceed 1 for any of the The highest NPI values for this piezometer were measurements. calculated for the PZ5 and T5 piezometers. Fig. 4. Changes in NH values Fig. 5. Changes in Cl values Chloride content throughout the research period element in water is 0.1 mg/l. Boron content was remained at a similar level in piezometers PZ1, low in piezometers PZ1, PZ4, T5. Significant PZ3 and T5. In the case of the PZ5 piezometer, a changes in the content were recorded in the PZ3 very large variation in the content of this parameter and PZ5 piezometers (Fig. 7). can be noticed even within one year. The maximum concentration of iron, and thus The content of sulphates in the entire research the NPI index, was found in the T5 piezometer. period was lowest in the T5 and PZ1 piezometers. Increased concentrations of this component also Higher values (approx. 100 mg/l) were observed indicate the presence of reducing conditions. In in the PZ2 and PZ3 piezometers. The highest the case of iron, much higher values were observed concentrations were recorded in the PZ4 and PZ5 in the T5 piezometer between 2016-2018 (Fig. 8). piezometers. As in the case of chlorides, a decrease After this period, the content of this ion came closer in the content of sulphates in the waters of the to the values observed in the remaining piezometers PZ5 piezometer was recorded in 2017 (Fig. 6). of the network. As in the case of chlorides, significantly higher This research aimed to analyze the hydro- values of sulphate content were recorded in the geochemical variations of the NPI index values in PZ4, PZ5 and T5 piezometers. These were also values relation to the study area located in Dąbrowa of up to 300 mg/l. NPI values for this parameter Górnicza. The analysis of the values for the index exceeding 1 were calculated for the PZ5 piezometer. highlighted that most of them do not show significant Another example of an indicator of groundwater differences in relation to the third class of water pollution in the area of municipal landfill is boron. quality. Typical rates of groundwater pollution in In the case of PZ3, PZ5 and T5 piezometers, the the area of this landfill site are significantly lower Nemerow index values exceeded 0.5. In the case than for other facilities of this type (ALJARADIN & of the PZ5 piezometer, this value is close to 1. PERSSON, 2016; DĄBROWSKA ET AL., 2018; SARTO ET Note that the upper limit of the presence of this AL., 2016). 2- Fig. 6. Changes in SO4 values Fig. 7. Changes in B values Fig. 8. Changes in Fe values Increased pH values and increased alkalinity of impact of pollution outbreaks on the condition of groundwater are not conducive to the dissolution the water. An important issue when choosing this of metals in water, which is also noticeable in the indicator for the analysis of water quality for a results concerning the concentrations of metals in given region is also the choice of parameters that the water. Among metals, the highest concentrations are to be used for characterization. For the Lipówka I are seen only in the case of iron ions. Other metals and Lipówka II municipal waste landfill sites, a recommended for observation (Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd, Hg, Cr) set of optimal parameters was selected, which are are present in the waters of these piezometers characteristic for the majority of facilities of this type. and tested below the quantification limit, with the The second aspect that should be taken into exception of mercury. The pH values in the waters of account is the value to which the measured the analyzed piezometers are comparable to other concentration of the parameter is related. In this landfills such as those described by RAHIM ET AL. study, the values proposed in the regulation were (2010) or BRENNAN ET AL. (2016). used, but the natural hydrochemical background The value of the electrical conductivity in values can also be used, if available. groundwater in the vicinity of landfill sites may be If the recorded values of individual parameters different and dependent on the hydrogeological were compared to the natural hydrochemical conditions and the extent of the landfill's impact background for this region (RÓŻKOWSKA ET AL., 1975), on the water. In the case of the described facility, which for example was 33 mg/l in the case of the conductivity exceeds the value of 2000 µS/cm, chlorides, the values of the Nemerow index would but it is low compared to facilities such as the often exceed the value of 100. landfill site in Sosnowiec (KNOPEK & DĄBROWSKA, In the case of an area where there are also other 2021) where the conductivity was twice as high, landfill sites, the specific parameters contaminating or the landfill site in Tychy (DĄBROWSKA ET AL., the groundwater should also be taken into 2018) where the conductivity in one piezometer account. However, such data for the described exceeded 20,000 µS/cm. landfill sites are not available. Chemical parameters such as ammonium, chlorides, sulphates, iron and boron occur in References groundwater in the area of this landfill at the Abbasi T., Abbasi S.A. 2012. 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Environmental & Socio-economic Studies – de Gruyter
Published: Mar 1, 2022
Keywords: water quality; landfill sites; Nemerow index; municipal waste; Dąbrowa Górnicza
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