Attenuation of Bacteriological Contaminants in Karstic Siphons and Relative Barrier Purifiers: Case Examples from Carpathian Karst in Serbia

Part of the Environmental Earth Sciences book series (EESCI, volume 1)


Karstic groundwater, because of its unique hydrological characteristics, is extremely sensitive to contamination by pathogens. For this reason more attention has recently been paid to the relationship between pathogens and the hydrogeological and geological characteristics of karst aquifer. This paper presents causes of contamination of three large sources located in the karst aquifers in the Carpathian-Balkanides in eastern Serbia. The bacteriological analyses and their correlation with physical and chemical characteristics in seasonal intervals provide an insight into the functioning of studied karst aquifers. It has been confirmed that ascending springs which drain deeper siphonal systems or the presence of adjacent porous aquifers as an additional purifier barrier mitigate bacterial waves and have much better water quality than gravity springs with an unstable discharge regime. For the latter, typical fast draining does not allow the activation of the attenuation capacity of the aquifer system.


Karst Microbiology Groundwater circulation Attenuation 


  1. Bitton G, Gerba CP (eds) (1983) Groundwater pollution microbiology. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Davraz A, Varol S (2012) Microbiological risk assessment and sanitary inspection survey of Tefenni (Burdur/Turkey) region. Environ Earth Sci. doi:  10.1007/s12665-011-1332-1
  3. Ford DC, Williams P (2007) Karst hydrogeology and geomorphology. Wiley, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gavich IK (ed) (1985) Metody ohrany podzemnyh vod od zagrjaznenija i istošćenija. Nedra, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  5. Kelly WR, Panno SV, Hackley KC et al (2009) Bacteria contamination of groundwater in a mixed land-use karst region. Water Qual Expo Health. doi:  10.1007/s12403-009-0006-7
  6. Milanović S, Vasić LJ (2011) Hidrogeološka osnova zaštite podzemnih voda u karstu na primeru. Beljanice Vodoprivreda 252–254:165–173Google Scholar
  7. Milanović S, Stevanović Z, Vasić LJ et al (2013) 3D modelling and monitoring of karst system as a base for its evaluation and utilization: a case study from eastern Serbia. Environ Earth Sci. doi:  10.1007/s12665-013-2591-9
  8. Sinreich M, Pronk M, Kozel R (2014) Microbiological monitoring and classification of karst springs Environ Earth Sci. doi:  10.1007/s12665-013-2508-7
  9. Stevanović Z, Dragišić V (1996) Some cases of accidental karst water pollution in the Serbian carpathians. Theor Appl Karstol 8:137–144Google Scholar
  10. Stevanović Z, Jemcov I, Dokmanović P et al (1998) An example of bacteriological contamination of a captured spring. In: Proceedings of IAH/AIH conference on “gambling with groundwater”, Las Vegas, pp 173–178Google Scholar
  11. Stevanović Z (ed) Characterization of karst aquifer. In: Characterization and engineering of karst aquifer. Springer, Heidelberg (in press)Google Scholar
  12. Thorn RH, Coxon CE (1992) Hydrogeological aspects of bacterial contamination of some western Ireland karstic limestone aquifer. Environ Geol 20:65–72Google Scholar
  13. Vasić LJ, Milanović S, Petrović B et al (2013) Uticaj cirkulacije podzemnih voda u karstu na pojavu bakteriološkog zagađenja. Vodoprivreda 264–266:219–229Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Karst Hydrogeology, Department of Hydrogeology, Faculty of Mining and GeologyUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

Personalised recommendations