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Levels of major and trace elements, including rare earth elements, and 238U in Croatian tap waters


Concentrations of 46 elements, including major, trace, and rare earth elements, and 238U in Croatian tap waters were investigated. Selected sampling locations include tap waters from various hydrogeological regions, i.e., different types of aquifers, providing insight into the range of concentrations of studied elements and 238U activity concentrations in Croatian tap waters. Obtained concentrations were compared with the Croatian maximum contaminant levels for trace elements in water intended for human consumption, as well as WHO and EPA drinking water standards. Concentrations in all analyzed tap waters were found in accordance with Croatian regulations, except tap water from Šibenik in which manganese in concentration above maximum permissible concentration (MPC) was measured. Furthermore, in tap water from Osijek, levels of arsenic exceeded the WHO guidelines and EPA regulations. In general, investigated tap waters were found to vary considerably in concentrations of studied elements, including 238U activity concentrations. Causes of variability were further explored using statistical methods. Composition of studied tap waters was found to be predominately influenced by hydrogeological characteristics of the aquifer, at regional and local level, the existing redox conditions, and the household plumbing system. Rare earth element data, including abundances and fractionation patterns, complemented the characterization and facilitated the interpretation of factors affecting the composition of the analyzed tap waters.

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This work was financially supported by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia (bilateral project “Radiochemical methods for determination of radionuclides in water samples” and project 098-0982934-2715 ) and Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia (bilateral project BI-RH/10-11-007).

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Correspondence to Željka Fiket.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Fiket, Ž., Rožmarić, M., Krmpotić, M. et al. Levels of major and trace elements, including rare earth elements, and 238U in Croatian tap waters. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22, 6789–6799 (2015).

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  • Geochemistry
  • Trace elements
  • Rare earth elements
  • 238-U
  • Tap water
  • Croatia