Next Article in Journal
Evolution Pattern and Matching Mode of Precursor Information about Water Inrush in a Karst Tunnel
Next Article in Special Issue
Not All Rivers Are Created Equal: The Importance of Spring-Fed Rivers under a Changing Climate
Previous Article in Journal
Improving Urban Flood Mapping by Merging Synthetic Aperture Radar-Derived Flood Footprints with Flood Hazard Maps
Previous Article in Special Issue
Additive Effects of Sediment and Nutrient on Leaf Litter Decomposition and Macroinvertebrates in Hyporheic Zone
Article

Distribution, Drivers, and Threats of Aluminum in Groundwater in Nova Scotia, Canada

1
Sterling Hydrology Research Group, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
2
Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines, Halifax, NS B3J 2T9, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Futoshi Nakamura, Junjiro Negishi and Nobuo Ishiyama
Water 2021, 13(11), 1578; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111578
Received: 30 April 2021 / Revised: 28 May 2021 / Accepted: 30 May 2021 / Published: 2 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endangered Freshwater Ecosystems: Threats and Conservation Needs)
Increased rates of acid deposition derived from the burning of fossil fuels over the last century have resulted in the acidification and increase in aluminum (Al) levels in freshwaters and soils in sensitive areas. While the acidification of surface waters such as lakes and rivers has been extensively studied, the acidification status and resulting Al concentrations in groundwater are poorly understood. Here we aim to describe the distribution of Al in groundwater across the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. We investigate the hydrogeological conditions that influence Al concentrations in groundwater and compare Al concentrations to legislated threshold levels for human and aquatic health. We found groundwater Al concentrations to be highest in areas underlain by plutonic and metamorphic bedrock types as well as surficial aquifers, with pH and organic carbon concentrations having the strongest correlation with groundwater Al concentrations. Few samples exceed the maximum acceptable concentration of 2900 µg/L released by Health Canada (2021), but these exceedances are important to highlight given the challenges with respect to Al treatment in private domestic wells and our evolving understanding of Al impacts to human health. High concentrations of Al in groundwater may also be exported to surface waters such as rivers and lakes, where they can be harmful to aquatic populations such as Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). We recommend that private well owners test their water supplies for Al, and that further studies on Al export from groundwater to surface water be carried out in the most high-risk areas coincident with important Atlantic salmon river watersheds. View Full-Text
Keywords: aluminum; groundwater quality; groundwater-surface water interaction; cold-water fish; Atlantic salmon; freshwater quality aluminum; groundwater quality; groundwater-surface water interaction; cold-water fish; Atlantic salmon; freshwater quality
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Hart, K.A.; Kennedy, G.W.; Sterling, S.M. Distribution, Drivers, and Threats of Aluminum in Groundwater in Nova Scotia, Canada. Water 2021, 13, 1578. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111578

AMA Style

Hart KA, Kennedy GW, Sterling SM. Distribution, Drivers, and Threats of Aluminum in Groundwater in Nova Scotia, Canada. Water. 2021; 13(11):1578. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111578

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hart, Kristin A., Gavin W. Kennedy, and Shannon M. Sterling 2021. "Distribution, Drivers, and Threats of Aluminum in Groundwater in Nova Scotia, Canada" Water 13, no. 11: 1578. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111578

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop