Evaluation of Chemical Pollution Hazards of karstic water in Qouri-Qalae Cave

Document Type : Applied Article


1 . Associate Professor of Natural Resources Faculty, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran

2 Post graduate Student of Environmental Hazards, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran


The Study of quality groundwater in karstic areas are great important. In this research, the hazards of karstic water chemical pollution in Qouri-Qalae cave are assessed. Rigorous tests have been conducted using samples, field works and interview with professionals to identify the role of human and natural factors contributing to the pollution of water in the cave. Samples have been taken from the cave entrance and end part of the cave during the six-month period. And the density of heavy metals and major cations  have been measured in the laboratory. Apart from these, electrical conductivity, acidity or alkalinity, rate of oxygen consumption by organisms in water and nitrate has also been measured. In tests, arsenic and lead have been measured by atomic absorption spectrometry, Iron, magnesium and manganese by flame and lithium, sodium, calcium and potassium by Photometry methods. PH with PH meters, EC with EC meters, BOD with BOD meters have been measured and nitrate by ion chromatography IC. Drinking water density obtained from the laboratory results were compared with standard criteria. Based on the results, the density of some elements such as lead and arsenic within the water is higher than the permissible limit of drinking water. This is a serious risk to human health. Also the results show that the origin of this type of pollution is in relation to geological factor of mineral streaks, fuel emission of lime kilns and sewages. High density of iron, magnesium and manganese is in relation to the water crossing on the soils and rocks and then penetrating into the cave. Recent elements changed the color, turbidity and flavor of water. The high BOD can be linked to the sewage and waste by visitors. Considering the above points, the following actions are required for elimination of risks threatening groundwater of Qouri-Qalae cave: continuous monitoring, use of international standards and practices in management, increasing public awareness of visitors and limiting their number, removal of waste and polluting elements inside and outside of the cave particularly across the catchment area of the cave. 


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