Arsenic occurrence in water bodies in Kharaa river basin
Keywords:Arsenic, water quality, surface and groundwater, Kharaa river basin,
AbstractDistribution of arsenic (As) and its compound and related toxicology are serious concerns nowadays. Gold mining activity is one of the anthropogenic sources of environmental contamination regarding As and other heavy metals. In Mongolia, the most productive gold mining sites are placed in the Kharaa river basin. A hundred water samples were collected from river, spring and deep wells in this river basin. Along with total As and its species-As(III) and As(V), examination of concentration levels of other key parameters, 21 heavy metals with pH, total hardness, electric conductivity, anion and cations, was also carried out. In respect to the permissible limit formulated by the Mongolian National Drinking water quality standard (MNS 0900:2005, As10 µg/l), the present study showed that most of samples were found no contamination. In Kharaa river basin, an average concentration of total As in surface water was 4.04 µg/l with wide range in 0.07−30.30 µg/l whereas it was 2.24 µg/l in groundwater. As analysis in surface water in licensed area of Gatsuurt gold mining showed a mean concentration with 24.90 µg/l presenting higher value than that of value in river basin by 6 orders of magnitude and it was 2 times higher than permissible level as well. In Boroo river nearby Boroo gold mining area, As concentration in water was ranged in 6.05−6.25 µg/l. Ammonia pollution may have present at estuary of Zuunmod river in Mandal sum with above the permissible level described in national water quality standard. Geological formation of the rocks and minerals affected to
change of heavy metal concentration, especially As and uranium (U) at spring water nearby Gatsuurt-Boroo improved road.
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