Présentations Colloques

Oral Presentation
Session 7.03: Agricultural and sanitation contaminants and implications for water services and health
Wachniew Przemyslaw
Understanding of a coupled groundwater - surface water system as a framework for mitigation of nitrate pollution in an agricultural catchment
A karstic-fissured Czestochowa aquifer in Southern Poland is an important groundwater body threatened by pollution. The aquifer is a sole source of potable water for Czestochowa agglomeration and neighboring municipalities (ca. 300 000 inhabitants). High concentrations of nitrates are found in large parts of the aquifer, which shows a low denitrification potential. Moreover, nitrate-polluted groundwater discharging to the Kocinka river and its tributaries affects their ecological status. The main source of nitrates in the aquifer is agriculture, whereas the shallow groundwaters and streams are additionally affected by the improperly managed domestic sewage. The measures undertaken by the Czestochowa Water and Sewage Company to reduce threats to the groundwater quality are limited to the exploitation schemes aimed at reducing concentrations of nitrate at groundwater intakes and application of the costly biological denitrification system. A sustainable management of this coupled groundwater – surface water system relies, however, on identification and quantification of nitrate sources and on understanding of their pathways and removal processes in soils, groundwater and streams. The ongoing research project BONUS-Soils2Sea combines numerical modeling of groundwater flow and transport, observations of water chemistry and use of the environmental tracers to provide an integrated view of nitrate behavior in the system. This scientifically based knowledge is a prerequisite for the catchment scale mitigation of nitrate pollution and particularly for the involvement of all relevant players, such as farmers, municipalities, governmental institutions, NGOs, anglers association and others.