This investigation was under taken to evaluate the groundwater resources contamination due to intensive agricultural practices(particularly greenhouses). The study-area is located in the coastal area of the Ragusa province (South-East Sicily), where numerousexisting greenhouses may cause the contamination of groundwater systems (unconfined and confined aquifers) beneath the croppedland. The pollution risk is mainly related with the seepage process of macro-elements nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K),held in the irrigation water and the massive use of fertilizers and pesticides, that may pass through the unsaturated zone of the soilprofile. Moreover, the area is characterized by the presence of several wells (about 15 wells/km2) for agricultural use that cause theaquifer overexploitation and the consequent risk of seawater intrusion. The agriculture practices adopted in the study area (irrigationvolumes, fertilizer concentrations, use of pesticides. . .) were monitored since February 2009; moreover, the pollution risk of theaquifers was evaluated through the analysis of groundwater water samples collected (monthly) in the monitoring wells; in particular,nitrogen compounds, soluble phosphorous (PO4−−), potassium, as well as the main pesticides commonly used in the study area, weremeasured.The results show that electrical conductivity and chloride concentration values can cause reduction of production and leafdamage problems, respectively, for most of the monitored farm systems. The high nitrogen compounds concentrations observed inthemonitored wells can cause health and environmental problems. Moreover high pesticide contamination of groundwater was foundin two of the five monitored wells.

Evaluation of groundwater contamination in a coastal area of South-East Sicily

LICCIARDELLO, FELICIANA
;
CIRELLI, Giuseppe
2011

Abstract

This investigation was under taken to evaluate the groundwater resources contamination due to intensive agricultural practices(particularly greenhouses). The study-area is located in the coastal area of the Ragusa province (South-East Sicily), where numerousexisting greenhouses may cause the contamination of groundwater systems (unconfined and confined aquifers) beneath the croppedland. The pollution risk is mainly related with the seepage process of macro-elements nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K),held in the irrigation water and the massive use of fertilizers and pesticides, that may pass through the unsaturated zone of the soilprofile. Moreover, the area is characterized by the presence of several wells (about 15 wells/km2) for agricultural use that cause theaquifer overexploitation and the consequent risk of seawater intrusion. The agriculture practices adopted in the study area (irrigationvolumes, fertilizer concentrations, use of pesticides. . .) were monitored since February 2009; moreover, the pollution risk of theaquifers was evaluated through the analysis of groundwater water samples collected (monthly) in the monitoring wells; in particular,nitrogen compounds, soluble phosphorous (PO4−−), potassium, as well as the main pesticides commonly used in the study area, weremeasured.The results show that electrical conductivity and chloride concentration values can cause reduction of production and leafdamage problems, respectively, for most of the monitored farm systems. The high nitrogen compounds concentrations observed inthemonitored wells can cause health and environmental problems. Moreover high pesticide contamination of groundwater was foundin two of the five monitored wells.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/242345
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