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Article

Environmental Hazards of an Unrecultivated Liquid Waste Disposal Site on Soil and Groundwater

1
Department of Landscape Protection and Environmental Geography, University of Debrecen, 4032 Debrecen, Hungary
2
Department of Inorganic and Analitycal Chemistry, University of Debrecen, 4032 Debrecen, Hungary
3
Department of Physical Geography and Geoinformation Systems, University of Debrecen, 4032 Debrecen, Hungary
4
Department of Data Science and Visualization, University of Debrecen, 4032 Debrecen, Hungary
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Francesco Sdao and Filomena Canora
Water 2022, 14(2), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020226
Received: 7 December 2021 / Revised: 3 January 2022 / Accepted: 10 January 2022 / Published: 13 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Vulnerability to Pollution Assessment)
Disposal sites without adequate engineering controls pose a significant risk to the environment. In the present study, the environmental hazards of an abandoned and unrecultivated liquid waste disposal are investigated with a special focus on soil and shallow groundwater contamination. After a period of operation from 1994 to 2010, when the wastewater collection of the municipality was regulated, the disposal site was subsequently decommissioned without further action. Eight monitoring wells have been established in the disposal basins and in the surrounding area to determine the contamination of the site. Sampling took place in the summers of 2020 and 2021. The results of the analysis of the soil and water samples collected showed a high level of contamination in the area. In the borehole profile of the infiltration basin, a well-developed leachate nitrate profile was observed, with a concentration above 3000 mg/kg NO3. The soil phosphate content was also significant, with a value of over 1900 mg/kg in the upper 40 cm layer. Extremely high concentrations of ammonium (>45 mg/L) and organic matter (>90 mg/L) were detected in the groundwater of the basins, indicating that contaminated soil remains a major source of pollutants more than 10 years after closure. For all micro- and macroelements present in detectable concentrations, a significant increase was observed in the infiltration basin. Our results have revealed that the surroundings are also heavily contaminated. NO3 concentrations above the contamination limit were measured outside the basins. Recultivation of liquid waste disposal sites of similar characteristics is therefore strongly recommended. View Full-Text
Keywords: sewage disposal site; landfill; groundwater quality; environmental pollution; soil contamination sewage disposal site; landfill; groundwater quality; environmental pollution; soil contamination
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mester, T.; Szabó, G.; Sajtos, Z.; Baranyai, E.; Szabó, G.; Balla, D. Environmental Hazards of an Unrecultivated Liquid Waste Disposal Site on Soil and Groundwater. Water 2022, 14, 226. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020226

AMA Style

Mester T, Szabó G, Sajtos Z, Baranyai E, Szabó G, Balla D. Environmental Hazards of an Unrecultivated Liquid Waste Disposal Site on Soil and Groundwater. Water. 2022; 14(2):226. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020226

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mester, Tamás, György Szabó, Zsófi Sajtos, Edina Baranyai, Gergely Szabó, and Dániel Balla. 2022. "Environmental Hazards of an Unrecultivated Liquid Waste Disposal Site on Soil and Groundwater" Water 14, no. 2: 226. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020226

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