Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 186, Issue 9, pp 5921–5934 | Cite as

Assessment of ammonium, nitrate, phosphate, and heavy metal pollution in groundwater from Amik Plain, southern Turkey



Amik Plain is one of the most important agricultural areas of Turkey. Because the groundwater resources have been used not only for irrigation but also for drinking purpose, groundwater resources play a vital role in this area. However, there exist no or a very limited number of studies on groundwater quality and its physicochemical and heavy metal composition for Amik Plain. This study aimed to assess groundwater of Amik Plain in terms of human health and suitability for irrigation based on physicochemical variables, heavy metals, and their spatial distribution. A total of 92 groundwater samples were collected from wells and were analyzed for temperature (T), salt content (SC), dissolved oxygen (DO), ammonium (NH4 +), nitrate (NO3 ), and phosphorus (P) and such heavy metals as cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn). The temperature, SC, DO, NH4 +, and NO3 parameters were measured in situ immediately with YSI Professional plus instrument (Pro Plus). Water depth was taken from owner of the wells. Heavy metal analyses were carried out in triplicate using inductively coupled atomic emission spectrometer (ICP-AES). The ICP-AES was calibrated for all the metals by running different concentrations of standard solutions. Descriptive statistical analyses were calculated to characterize distribution of physicochemical properties and heavy metal contents of groundwater. Correlation analysis was used to assess the possible relationships among heavy metals and physicochemical properties of the groundwater. Spatial variability in groundwater parameters were determined by geostatistical methods. Result shows that the highest and lowest coefficient of variation occurred for NO3 and T, respectively. Mean water table depth was 92.1 m, and only 12 of all the samples exceeded the desirable limit of 50 mg/L for NO3 content. The metal concentrations showed a dominance in the order of Fe > Mn > Ni > Cr > Cu > Zn > Co > Cd > Pb. All the samples had much higher Cd concentration than the guideline value for drinking water while Cu and Fe concentrations were below the guideline limit recommended by WHO.


Amik Plain Groundwater Nitrate pollution Heavy metal pollution Spatial distribution 



This project was supported financially by Mustafa Kemal University Research Foundation (project number: MKÜ BAP 1201 M 0107).


  1. Adelekan, B. A., & Abegunde, K. D. (2011). Heavy metal contamination of soil and groundwater at automobile mechanic villages in Ibadan, Nigeria. International Journal of Physical Sciences, 6(5), 1045–1058.Google Scholar
  2. Ağca, N., Yalçın, M., Ödemis, B. (2006) Quality determination of some water sources in the Amik Plain (Hatay/Turkey). The Proceedings of the 18th International Soil Meeting (ISM) on Soil Sustaining Life on Earth, Managing, Soil and Technology, Sanlıurfa, Turkey, (1), 320-326.Google Scholar
  3. Alabdula’aly, A. I., Al Zarah, A. I., & Khan, M. A. (2011). Assessment of trace metals in groundwater sources used for drinking purposes in Riyadh Region. International Journal of Water Resources and Arid Environments, 1(1), 05–09.Google Scholar
  4. Alam, M., Rais, S., & Aslam, M. (2012). Hydrochemical investigation and quality assessment of groundwater in rural areas of Delhi, India. Environmental Earth Science, 66, 97–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anonymous (1999). Phosphorus in Minnesota’s groundwater. Minnesota pollution control agency. Groundwater monitoring and assessment program.Google Scholar
  6. Anonymous (2013). Geostatistics for the environmental sciences, Gamma design Software, Accessible Geostatistics for Everyday Science.Google Scholar
  7. Ayers R. S., Westcot, D. W. (1994). Water quality for agriculture. FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper No. 29, Rev. 1.Google Scholar
  8. Batrame, J., Balance, R. (1996). Water quality monitoring—a practical guide to the design and implementation of freshwater quality studies and monitoring Programmes. Published on behalf of United Nations Environment Programme and the World Health Organization UNEP/WHO, 348 p.Google Scholar
  9. Cambardella, C. A., Moorman, T. B., Parkin, T. B., Karlen, D. L., Novak, J. M., Turco, R. F., et al. (1994). Field scale variability of soil properties in central Iowa soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 58, 1501–1511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Champidi, P., Stamatis, G., & Zagana, E. (2011). Groundwater quality assessment and geogenic and anthropogenic effect estimation in Erasinos Basin (E. Attica). European Water, 33, 11–27.Google Scholar
  11. Chien, Y. J., Lee, D. Y., Guo, H. Y., & Houng, K. H. (1997). Geostatistical analysis of soil properties of Mid-West Taiwan soils. Soil Science, 162(4), 291–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dar, I. A., Dar, M. A., & Sankar, K. (2010). Nitrate contamination in groundwater of Sopore town and its environs, Kasmir, India. Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 3, 267–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ebrahimzadeh, S., Boustani, F. (2011). Groundwater quality assessment of Zarghan Plain, Shiraz, Iran. 2nd International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology IPCBEE vol.6© (2011) IACSIT Press, Singapore. P. V2305-V2309.Google Scholar
  14. Fang, J., & Ding, Y. (2010). Assessment of groundwater contamination by NO3 using geographical information system in the Zhangye Basin, Northwest China. Environmental Earth Science, 60, 809–816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Food Standards Agency (2003). Safe upper levels for vitamins and minerals Published by Food Standards Agency p 293-299 (ISBN 1-904026-11-7).Google Scholar
  16. Goovaerts, P. (1999). Geostatistics in soil science: state-of the-art and perspectives. Geoderma, 89, 1–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Güler, C., Kaplan, V., & Akbulut, C. (2013). Spatial distribution patterns and temporal trends of heavy-metal concentrations in a petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated site: Karaduvar coastal aquifer (Mersin, SE Turkey). Environmental Earth Science, 70, 943–962.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gün, M., and Erdem, A.M. (2003). Agricultural master plan of Hatay. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Agricultural Directorate of Hatay (in Turkish).Google Scholar
  19. Gundogdu, K. S., & Guney, I. (2007). Spatial analyses of groundwater levels using universal kriging. Journal of Earth System Science, 116(1), 49–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Haloi, N., & Sarma, H. P. (2012). Heavy metal contaminations in the groundwater of Brahmaputra flood plain: an assessment of water quality in Barpeta District, Assam (India). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 184(10), 6229–6237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Isa, N. M., Aris, A. Z., Lim, W. Y., Sulaiman, W. N. A. W., & Praveena, S. M. (2013). Evaluation of heavy metal contamination in groundwater samples from Kapas Island, Terengganu, Malaysia. Arabian Journal of Geosciences. doi: 10.1007/s12517-012-0818-9.Google Scholar
  22. Kılıc, Ş., Ağca, N., Karanlık, S., Şenol, S., Aydın, M., Yalcın, M., Celik, I., Evrendilek, F., Uygur, V., Doğan, K., Aslan, S., Cullu, M.A. (2008). Detailed soil surveys, soil productivity, and land use planning of Amik plain. Supported by State Planning Organization (DPT-2002 K1204802002) (in Turkish).Google Scholar
  23. Kilic, S., Evrendilek, F., Senol, S., & Celik, I. (2005). Developing a suitability index for land uses and agricultural land covers: a case study in Turkey. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 102, 323–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Köleli, N., & Kantar, Ç. (2005). Fosfat kayası, fosforik asit ve fosforlu gubrelerdeki toksik ağır metal (Cd, Pb, Ni, As) konsantrasyonu. Ekoloji, 55, 1–5.Google Scholar
  25. Kumar, P. J. S., Delson, P. D., & Babu, P. T. (2012). Appraisal of heavy metals in groundwater in Chennai city using a HPI model. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 89, 793–798.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kumari, S., Singh, A. K., Verma, A. K., & Yaduvanshi, N. P. S. (2013). Assessment and spatial distribution of groundwater quality in industrial areas of Ghaziabad, India. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. doi: 10.1007/s10661-013-3393-y.Google Scholar
  27. Lark, R. M. (2000). Estimating variograms of soil properties by the method-of-moments and maximum likelihood. European Journal of Soil Science, 51, 717–728.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Li, J., Lu, Y., Yin, W., Gan, H., Zhang, C., Deng, X., & Lian, J. (2009). Distribution of heavy metals in agricultural soils near a petrochemical complex in Guangzhou, China. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 153, 365–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mahmud, R., Iinoue, N., & Sen, R. (2007). Assessment of irrıgatıon water quality by using principal component analysis in arsenic affected area of Bangladesh. Journal of Soil and Nature, 1(2), 08–17.Google Scholar
  30. Mansouri, B., Salehi, J., Etebari, B., & Moghaddam, H. K. (2012). Metal concentrations in the groundwater in Birjand flood plain, Iran. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 89, 138–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Melegy, A. A., Shaban, A. M., Hassaan, M. M., & Salman, S. A. (2013). Geochemical mobilization of some heavy metals in water resources and their impact on human health in Sohag Governorate, Egypt. Arabian Journal of Geosciences. doi: 10.1007/s12517-013-1095-y.Google Scholar
  32. Memon, M., Soomro, M. S., Akhtar, M. S., & Memon, K. S. (2011). Drinking water quality assessment in Southern Sindh (Pakistan). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 177, 39–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Murphy, J., & Riley, J. P. (1962). A modified single solution method for determination of phosphate in natural water. Analytica Chimica Acta, 27, 31–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nosrati, K., & Eeckhaut, M. V. D. (2012). Assessment of groundwater quality using multivariate statistical techniques in Hashtgerd Plain, Iran. Environmental Earth Science, 65, 331–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Parameswari, K., & Mudgal, B. V. (2013). Geochemical investigation of groundwater contamination in Perungudi dumpsite, South India. Arabian Journal of Geosciences. doi: 10.1007/s12517-013-0832-6.Google Scholar
  36. Rouabhia, A., Baali, F., & Fehdi, C. (2010). Impact of agricultural activity and lithology on groundwater quality in the Merdja area, Tebessa, Algeria. Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 3, 307–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Singh, C. K., Rina, K., Singh, R. P., & Mukherjee, S. (2013). Geochemical characterization and heavy metal contamination of groundwater in Satluj River Basin. Environmental Earth Science. doi: 10.1007/s12665-013-2424-x.Google Scholar
  38. Tank, D. K., & Chandel, C. P. S. (2010). A hydrochemical elucidation of the groundwater composition under domestic and irrigated land in Jaipur City. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 166, 69–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. TWPCR (Turkish Water Pollution Control Regulation) (2008). Regulation modified on Water Pollution Control Regulation, Official gazette No. 26786 (13 February 2008) (In Turkish).Google Scholar
  40. Webb, B., Nash, D., Hannah, M., Adeloju, S., Toifl, M., Roddick, F., & Porter, N. (2004). Phosphorus between soil, soil water and overland flow for established and laser graded, border-check irrigation systems. Super Soil 2004: 3rd Australian New Zealand Soils Conference, 5–9 December 2004, University of Sydney, Australia. Published on CDROM. Website www.regional.org.au/au/asssi/1.
  41. Webster, R., & Oliver, M. A. (2001). Geostatistics for environmental scientists. Brisbane, Australia: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  42. WHO (2004). Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, Vol.1. Recommendation. World Health Organization, Geneva, ISBN 92 4 154638 7.Google Scholar
  43. Yidana, S. M., & Yidana, A. (2010). Assessing water quality using water quality index and multivariate analysis. Environmental Earth Science, 59, 1461–1473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition Faculty of AgricultureMustafa Kemal UniversityAntakyaTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Biosystem Engineering, Faculty of AgricultureMustafa Kemal UniversityAntakyaTurkey

Personalised recommendations