Nitrates are one of the most common groundwater contaminants and they come from different sources. The paper presents a study of groundwater quality at Varaždin wellfield in the north part of Croatia. The nitrate concentration at this location has been above the maximum allowed concentration for several decades, which has made the opening of new wellfields costly. Based on the previously developed groundwater flow model, a model that covers the narrow area of the wellfield is developed. The influential zone of the observed wellfield in working conditions is determined. Based on the developed model, the sources of nitrate pollution are located, which can be generally divided into non-point and point sources. Considering the time of groundwater retention in the horizontal flow, it is concluded that the water protection zones are marked following the applicable ordinance. Based on the developed groundwater flow model at the observed wellfield, a simulation of nitrate pollution propagation by advection and dispersion processes is performed. The simulation results point out the location of the poultry landfill as the largest source of nitrate pollution. However, poultry farms, which are located in the influence area of the wellfield, also contribute significantly to the nitrate concentration at the wellfield.
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