Title: Assessment of trace metallic element contamination in sediment and water of the Bou Grine District, North-western Tunisia: concentrations, sources and environmental implications

Authors: Amor Ben Moussa; Sarra Bel Haj Salem; Houcem Mzali; Hatem El Mejri

Addresses: Research Laboratory of Environmental Science and Technologies, BP. 1003, Hammam-Lif 2050, Tunisia; Eau-Membrane et Biotechnologie de l'Environnement, Laboratoire de Géoressources, Centre de Recherches et Technologies Des Eaux, BP 273, 8020 Soliman, Tunisia; High Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (HIEST) of Borj Cedria, University of Carthage, Tunisia ' Research Laboratory of Environmental Science and Technologies, BP. 1003, Hammam-Lif 2050, Tunisia ' Laboratoire de Géoressources, Centre de Recherches et Technologies Des Eaux, BP 273, 8020 Soliman, Tunisia ' Research Laboratory of Environmental Science and Technologies, BP. 1003, Hammam-Lif 2050, Tunisia

Abstract: The present investigation was conducted in the vicinities of the Bou Grine abandoned mine in order to assess the presence and the spatial distribution of trace metallic elements (TME) or trace metals in soil, surface water and groundwater. Water and sediment samples were collected and analysed to determine the principal physicochemical properties of the TME. High level contamination of soil by Pb, Zn and Cu was detected, with maximum concentrations of 14,149 mg/kg, 14,691 mg/kg and 165.7 mg/kg, respectively. These relatively high concentrations bring insight to the anthropogenic impact related to the erosion of dump deposits, which represent the principal source of metal contamination in the soil. The distribution of trace elements concentrations in water (surface or groundwater) shows that the high values, which largely exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) standards for drinking water, occur downstream the abandoned mine. This finding confirms the assumption that the abandoned mine site constitutes the main source of metal pollution, which needs its urgent rehabilitation in order to avoid the undesirable interaction with agricultural and urban areas.

Keywords: Tunisia; Bou Grine mine; trace metallic elements; TME; sediment; groundwater; contamination.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGENVI.2019.110431

International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, 2019 Vol.18 No.4, pp.303 - 313

Accepted: 07 Jul 2020
Published online: 06 Oct 2020 *

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