Special Issue "Water Quality Indices: Current and Future Trends in Evaluating Contamination of Groundwater Resources"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Dimitrios E. Alexakis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Geoenvironmental Science and Environmental Quality Assurance, Department of Civil Engineering, University of West Attica, 250 Thivon & Petrou Ralli str, 122 41 Egaleo, Athens, Greece
Interests: geology; aquatic geochemistry; water quality; environmental geochemistry; geochemistry; geochemical modeling; contaminant transport; groundwater contamination; water quality indices; environmental monitoring and assessment; human health risk assessment
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Chemical substances of both geologic and anthropogenic origin were introduced into aquifers controlling the utilization of groundwater as a sustainable resource. Groundwater contamination is related to the presence of chemical substances, which strongly influence the groundwater suitability for human consumption, as well as for industrial and agricultural uses. The evaluation of groundwater contamination and the investigation of any links between groundwater quality and human health are critical elements of the legislation and guidelines developed by various researchers and agencies.

Although many scientists and engineers have performed meticulous research on a large number of issues related to groundwater contamination, it is clear that there is a lack of mature and scientifically sound procedures in a variety of topics. One of these topics is also the documentation of a globally accepted single value or score that express the water quality of an aquifer in terms of a water quality index. Water quality indices aim to be practical and compelling tools for water quality management and the sustainable development of groundwater resources.

Proposed topics for this Special Issue may address, but are not limited to, the following: groundwater contamination, aqueous geochemistry, natural and anthropogenic factors controlling groundwater quality, trace elements, water quality indices, and water quality management. The main goals are to gather high-quality papers on recent research into groundwater contamination and to stimulate the discussion on the suitability of water quality indices for the evaluation of aquifers chemical status.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dimitrios Em. Alexakis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • groundwater quality
  • groundwater contamination
  • groundwater quality monitoring and assessment
  • aquatic geochemistry
  • major and trace elements
  • water quality index
  • water quality management

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Water Quality Indices: Current and Future Trends in Evaluating Contamination of Groundwater Resources
Water 2021, 13(4), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040401 - 04 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 537
Abstract
Groundwater and surface water contamination is related to the presence of chemical substances, which strongly influence the water suitability for human consumption as well as for industrial and agricultural uses [...] Full article

Research

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Article
Quality Assessments of Shallow Groundwaters for Drinking and Irrigation Purposes: Insights from a Case Study (Jinta Basin, Heihe Drainage Area, Northwest China)
Water 2020, 12(10), 2704; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102704 - 27 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 615
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the hydrochemical characteristics and hydrogeochemical processes of shallow groundwater in the Jinta Basin, northwest China, and to evaluate the suitability of groundwater quality for drinking water and agricultural irrigation. A systematic hydrogeological survey was conducted in the study [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the hydrochemical characteristics and hydrogeochemical processes of shallow groundwater in the Jinta Basin, northwest China, and to evaluate the suitability of groundwater quality for drinking water and agricultural irrigation. A systematic hydrogeological survey was conducted in the study area from May 2017 to October 2018, during which 123 representative samples of groundwater were selected for analysis of chemical parameters and determination of the water quality index. The results showed that the pH of groundwater in the study area was weakly alkaline and ranged between 7.21–8.93. Dominant cations were Mg2+ and Na+ and the dominant anion was SO42. Along the groundwater flow from the southwest to northeast, the dominant groundwater chemistry type in the recharge area was Mg-HCO3·SO4. After the transition of the groundwater types in the runoff area to Mg-SO4·HCO3 and Mg·Na-SO4, the groundwater type in the discharge area evolved into Na·Mg-SO4·Cl. The major factors driving the evolution of groundwater chemical types in the Jinta Basin were found to be rock weathering, evaporation and precipitation. The chemical components of groundwater mainly originated from the dissolution of silicate rock and evaporative concentration of salt under water-rock interaction, whereas the dissolution of carbonate had little influence. The quality of drinking water was divided into five groups, and 39.84% of samples fell within the high and good quality groups. The quality of agricultural irrigation water was divided into different grades according to different methods. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Effects of Municipal Sludge Leachates on Water Quality
Water 2020, 12(7), 2046; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12072046 - 18 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 834
Abstract
Biosolids made from municipal sludge are an attractive solution instead of chemical fertilization. Nevertheless, their effects on the ecosystem should always be considered. In the present study, anaerobically digested sludge was subjected to two leaching methods (EN 12457-2 and NEN 7341) and the [...] Read more.
Biosolids made from municipal sludge are an attractive solution instead of chemical fertilization. Nevertheless, their effects on the ecosystem should always be considered. In the present study, anaerobically digested sludge was subjected to two leaching methods (EN 12457-2 and NEN 7341) and the main physicochemical parameters were measured in the leachates. The aquatic organisms Daphnia magna and Vibrio fischeri were exposed to the leachates in order to test for adverse effects. Mixtures of biosolid/solid, simulating the high dose of 80 tn/ha, were also created, and the same parameters were measured for EN 12457-2 leachates. The results show a strong seasonal variation for the results for the municipal sludge, even though the sludge did not originate from a touristic area. The biosolid/solid mixtures did not produce toxic responses to the organism tested. Nevertheless, the parameters nitrites and nitrates in the leachates were increased in relation to control and they continued to increase even at Day 40 post-application. This increase was soil-type-dependent. The biosolids in question could be used for field fertilization, however measures should be taken against underground water nitrate pollution. Full article
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Article
Meta-Evaluation of Water Quality Indices. Application into Groundwater Resources
Water 2020, 12(7), 1890; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071890 - 02 Jul 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 910
Abstract
Until now, there was no simple procedure to test the performance of water quality indices (WQIs) or, in other words, to perform their meta-evaluation. The purpose of this study is to provide a meta-evaluation approach of two widely used WQIs and suggestions for [...] Read more.
Until now, there was no simple procedure to test the performance of water quality indices (WQIs) or, in other words, to perform their meta-evaluation. The purpose of this study is to provide a meta-evaluation approach of two widely used WQIs and suggestions for selecting one or both of them for application in groundwater quality assessment as proposed by the European Union. The meta-evaluation concept is based on testing the performance of two widely known WQIs by applying classification of Water Framework Directive (WFD; 2000/60/EC) and Groundwater Directive (GWD; 2006/118/EC) which was used as a reference. The Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment (CCME) and National Sanitation Foundation (NSF-WQI) have been selected for evaluation. These WQIs were applied in an agricultural area of the Mediterranean region where six sub-datasets for an entire hydrological year were available. This study uses all the available water quality data (52 monitoring stations × 2 sampling periods × 15 parameters) which is systematically collected at the area studied. The CCME-WQI is a rather strict index since it estimates statistically significantly lower values than the NSF-WQI. Based on the performance of the examined indices, it is shown that, mostly, the CCME-WQI classification findings are close to those of the GWD. Full article
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Article
An Insight into Ingredients of Toxicological Interest in Personal Care Products and A Small–Scale Sampling Survey of the Greek Market: Delineating a Potential Contamination Source for Water Resources
Water 2019, 11(12), 2501; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11122501 - 27 Nov 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1377
Abstract
Wastewater is not a waste but a valuable resource that should be reused. Nevertheless, it should be devoid of physical, chemical, and microbiological parameters that can harm the consumer. Along with the multitude of possible pollutants found in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), emerging [...] Read more.
Wastewater is not a waste but a valuable resource that should be reused. Nevertheless, it should be devoid of physical, chemical, and microbiological parameters that can harm the consumer. Along with the multitude of possible pollutants found in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), emerging pollutants, such as Personal Care Products (PCPs), have arisen. The present research examines some of the main ingredients commonly found in PCPs, focusing on their toxicological profile on their occurrence in WWTPs influents and effluents worldwide and on their persistence and biodegradability. A small-scale market sampling of PCPs was performed in Athens, Greece, in June 2019, and their individual ingredients were recorded, coded according to their main activity, scanned for the presence of ingredients of important toxicological profile, and finally analyzed for the presence of other candidates of toxicological interest. Results show that some ingredients of concern (i.e., parabens and triclosan) are a decreasing trend. On the other hand, information on the presence of synthetic musks and perfume synthesis is scarce and encumbered by brand protection. Finally, UV filters are numerous, and they are used in various combinations, while other ingredients of toxicological interest are also present. Since the reclaimed water may well be used to cover irrigation needs in Greek areas with water deficiency or to enrich bodies of surface water, it is important to know what PCP ingredients are on the rise in the market, to monitor their presence in WWTPs influents and effluents and to extend research on their environmental fate and behavior. Full article
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Review

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Review
The Status of Arsenic Pollution in the Greek and Cyprus Environment: An Overview
Water 2021, 13(2), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020224 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 718
Abstract
This study presents an overview about the arsenic (As) contamination and its sources in two European countries. Arsenic is a highly toxic element in its inorganic form and it is carcinogenic to human seven in low concentrations. The occurrence of As in surface [...] Read more.
This study presents an overview about the arsenic (As) contamination and its sources in two European countries. Arsenic is a highly toxic element in its inorganic form and it is carcinogenic to human seven in low concentrations. The occurrence of As in surface water, stream and marine waters, groundwater, bottled water, sediment, soil, mines, and seafood, its environmental origin, and its impacts on human health are discussed. The classes of Geoaccumulation Index for As in Greece ranges from practically uncontaminated to extremely contaminated, and in Cyprus varies between practically uncontaminated and heavily contaminated. In many cases, the As contamination reaches very high concentrations and the impacts may be crucial for the human health and ecosystems. Physicochemical properties, regional climate and geological setting are controlling the occurrence and transport of As. In Greece and Cyprus, the geology, lithology, and ore-deposits are the most important factors for the variation of As contents in water, soil, and sediment. The dominant As species are also determined by the location and the redox conditions. The findings of this paper may be useful for scientists and stakeholders monitoring the studied areas and applying measures for protection of the human and terrestrial ecological receptors (plants, avian, mammals). Full article
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