Chen, A. and Lin, C. and Lu, W. and Wu, Y. and Ma, Y. and Li, J. and Zhu, L. (2007) Well water contaminated by acidic mine water from the Dabaoshan Mine, South China: chemistry and toxicity. Chemosphere, 70 (2). pp. 248-255. ISSN 0045-6535
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2007.06.041
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2007.06.041
An investigation into well water quality was carried out in a rural area subject to irrigation with acidic mine water from the Guangdong Dabaoshan Mine, southern China. The results of water pH measurements from 112 wells in two different seasons suggest that the well water has been contaminated to varying degrees in the investigated Shangba floodplain (approximately 11 km south of the Guangdong Dabaoshan Mine). There is a trend that well water pH increased southwards, suggesting that the impacts of acidic irrigation water on groundwater decreased with increasing distance to the entry point of acidic irrigation water. Water quality monitoring results of the selected wells show that Cu and Cd in the water exceeded the limits set in the Chinese National Standards for Drinking Water (GB 5749-85) for the wells close to the irrigation water source. If the World Health Organization (WHO) standard was considered, Cd in some wells was almost 10 times as high as the WHO guideline value (0.003 mg l-1). Water collected from the location closest to the acidic irrigation water source was acutely toxic to the test organism (Daphnia carinata) even after 51 time dilution. It is likely that the extremely high mortality rate of the local population reported for the study area is at least partly related to the high levels of heavy metals, particularly Cd in the drinking well water.
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