A total of 129 groundwater samples were collected in the Jangseong region of South Korea to characterize and evaluate groundwater quality and its suitability for irrigation and domestic uses. Samples were chemically analyzed for major ions, pH, electrical conductivity, and total dissolved solids following standard methods. The AquaChem 2014.2 model linked with PHREEQC was used for the statistical analysis and characterization of the hydrochemistry of the groundwater. The analysis showed that in all samples Ca–HCO3 was the leading water type and that the abundance of major cations was in the order Ca > Na > Mg > K, and of anions in the order HCO3 > Cl > SO4 > F. According to the correlation analysis, Ca showed strong interdependence with HCO3, suggesting that these parameters may have originated from common sources. Saturation index calculations indicated that all samples were undersaturated with respect to aragonite, calcite, dolomite, fluorite, gypsum, halite, and siderite, and oversaturated with respect to goethite and hematite. The irrigation suitability analysis revealed that groundwater in the Jangseong area can be used for irrigation without any restrictions based on EC, sodium adsorption ratio, percent sodium, residual sodium carbonate, Kelley ratio, permeability index, and the US Salinity Laboratory diagram analysis. The drinking water suitability analysis made for major parameters by comparison with the WHO guidelines indicates that the groundwater in the area is suitable for drinking except in some samples with high nitrate–N concentrations. The elevated nitrate concentrations in the groundwater are likely an indicator of agricultural pollution.
Environmental Earth Sciences – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 9, 2017
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