The Ridracoli artificial basin is the main water reservoir of the Emilia-Romagna region (Northeast Italy). The reservoir was made by construction of a dam on the Bidente River in 1982. It is used as the main drinking water supply of the region and for hydropower production. The physical and chemical parameterseters (temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, and dissolved oxygen) of shallow water are continuously monitored whereas vertical depth profiles of water chemical data (major anions and cations, as well as heavy metals) are available on a bimonthly base. The dataset used in this research is related to the years 2015 and 2016. Data show that the reservoir is affected by an alternation of water stratification and mixing processes due to seasonal change in water temperature, density, and the reservoir water level. In late summer and winter months, the water column is stratified with anoxic conditions at the bottom. During the spring, on the other hand, when storage is at its maximum, water recirculation and mixing occur. The reservoir is characterized by a dynamic system in which precipitation, dissolution, and adsorption processes at the bottom affect water quality along the reservoir depth column. The temperature stratification and anoxic conditions at the reservoir bottom influence the concentration and mobility of some heavy metals (i.e., Fe and Mn) and, consequently, the quality of water that reaches the treatment and purification plant. This study is relevant for water resource management of the reservoir. Assessing the seasonal changes in water quality along the reservoir water column depth is fundamental to plan water treatment operations and optimize their costs. The reservoir assessment allows one to identify countermeasures to avoid or overcome the high concentrations of heavy metals and the stratification problem (i.e., artificial mixing of the water column, new water intakes at different depths operating at different times of the year, blowers, etc.).
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited