The assurance of drinking water supply is one of the biggest emerging global challenges, especially in urban areas. In this respect, groundwater and its management in the urban environment are gaining importance. This paper presents the modeling of nitrogen load from the leaky sewer system and from agriculture and the impact of this pressure on the groundwater quality (nitrate concentration) in the urban aquifer located beneath the City of Ljubljana. The estimated total nitrogen load in the model area of 58 km2
is 334 ton/year, 38% arising from the leaky sewer system and 62% from agriculture. This load was used as input into the groundwater solute transport model to simulate the distribution of nitrate concentration in the aquifer. The modeled nitrate concentrations at the observation locations were found to be on average slightly lower (2.7 mg/L) than observed, and in general reflected the observed contamination pattern. The ability of the presented model to relate and quantify the impact of pressures from different contamination sources on groundwater quality can be beneficially used for the planning and optimization of groundwater management measures for the improvement of groundwater quality.
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