Impacts of Irrigation with Water Containing Heavy Metals on Soil and Groundwater – a Simulation Study

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Journal Title, Volume, Page: 
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution June 2003, Volume 146, Issue 1-4, pp 141-152
Year of Publication: 
Mohammed M. Al-Subu
An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Current Affiliation: 
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Marwan Haddad
An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Numan Mizyed
An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Inaya Mizyed
An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Preferred Abstract (Original): 

This research work intended to study the impacts of irrigation water containing various levels of copper, lead, and zinc on adsorption capacity of soil packed in 4′′ plastic columns and obtained from two locations around the city of Nablus: Salem (A) and Deir Sharaf (B). Results of simulation experiments showed an increase in the copper, lead, and zinc concentrations in soil and in leachate with increasing the amount of metal in irrigation water. Copper, lead, and zinc concentrations increased also with soil depth and duration of application. The results also indicate that the self purification of both soils was highly affected by physical factors, i.e. the intermittent application of irrigation water to the soils in the columns caused soil wetting and drying cycles whichresulted in the formation of cracks in shrinked soils specially in the top half of the columns. Crack formation is common in such clay soils due to the climatic conditions (Mediterranean type: dry summers and wet winters) and type of clay minerals in the soil. Thus, short circuiting of water through cracks results in moving contaminants fast and deep in the soil profile.

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