Groundwater Quality Assessment from a Hydrogeochemical Viewpoint A Case Study of Sarab County

Document Type : Research Paper


1 MSc Student of Environmental Engineering, Student Research Committee, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz

2 Assoc. Prof. of Environmental Engineering, Student Research Committee, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz

3 Assist. Prof. of Environmental Engineering, Student Research Committee, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz

4 Environmental Engineer, East Azarbayejan Rural Water and Sewage Co., Tabriz


Groundwater resources are the most important sources of drinking water in many communities. The direct impact of water quality on public health warrants a thorough investigation of water quality and the factors involved from a hydrogeochemical viewpoint. In the present study, 25 villages of Sarab County in East Azerbayejan Province were selected and the quality of the drinking water supplied in the region was analyzed in terms of its physicochemical parameters along with heavy metals content including 20 different metals. The results were plotted using the Arc GIS for interpretation. The selected villages were subsequently categorized using the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and the Hierarchical Cluster Analysis. Based on the result of study, the EC of the drinking water ranged over 220-2990µs/cm with an average value of 812.  A remarkable finding was the high level of dissolved solids in the Western parts of the study area. Arsenic in two villages and mercury in one village were also high. PCA results showed that the drinking water in the pilot villages could be divided into three categories. Based on certain water quality problems observed ij the region, it is suggested that substitute water supplies should be identified for some of the villages while a comprehensive investigation is also carried out on the arsenic anomaly and its health effects on water consumers in the contaminated villages.


Main Subjects

  1. Salmani, M., Toorani, A., and Khorasani, M. (2010). “Rural classification based on risk of reservoirs and drinking water distribution system, case study: Centeral part of Minoodasht city.” J. of Rural Research,
    4, 155-177. (In persian)
  2. Mishra, P., Behera, P., and Patel, R. (2005). “Contamination of water due to major industries and open refuse dumping in the steel city of Orissa--a case study.” J. of Environmental Science and Engineering,
  3. Arumugam, K., and Elangovan, K. (2009). “Hydrochemical characteristics and groundwater quality assessment in Tirupur region, coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu, India.” J. of Environmental Geology,
    58, 1509-1520.
  4. Baghvand, A., Nasrabadi, T., Bidhendi, G.N., Vosoogh, A., Karbassi, A., and Mehrdadi, N. (2010) “Groundwater quality degradation of an aquifer in Iran central desert.” J. of Desalination, 260, 264-275.
  5. Kumar, K.S., Kumar, P.S., Babu, M.J.R., and Rao, C.H. (2010). “Assessment and mapping of ground water quality using geographical information systems.” Int. J. of Engineering Science and Technology, 2(11), 6035-6046.
  6. Shamsi, UM. (2005) GIS applications for water, wastewater, and stormwater systems, Taylor and Francis, UK.
  7. Stigter, T.Y., Ribeiro, L., and Carvalho, Dill, A.M.M. (2006). “Application of a groundwater quality index as an assessment and communication tool in agro-environmental policies a two portuguese case studies.” J. of Hydrology, 327(3-4), 578-591.
  8. Balakrishnan, P., Saleem, A., and Mallikarjun, N.D. (2011). “Groundwater quality mapping using geographic information system (GIS): A case study of Gulbarga city, Karnataka, India.” African J. of Environmental Science and Technology, 5(12), 1069-1984.
  9. Jamshidzadeh, Z., and Mirbagheri, S.A. (2011). “Evaluation of groundwater quantity and quality in the Kashan Basin, Central Iran.” J. of Desalination, 270, 23-30.

10. Chowdhury, M.T.A., Meharg, A.A., Deacon, C., Hossain, M., and Norton, G.J. (2012). “Hydrogeochemistry and Arsenic Contamination of Groundwater in the Haor Basins of Bangladesh.” J. of Water Quality Exposure and Health, 4(2), 67-78.

11. APHA. AWWA. WPCF. (2005). Standard methods for examination of water and wastewater, 21st Ed, USA.

12. Kazi, T.G., Arain, M.B., Jamali, M.K., Jalbani, N., Afridi, H.I., Sarfraz, R.A., Baig, J.A, and Shan, A.Q. (2009). “Assessment of water quality of polluted lake using multivariate statistical techniques: A case study.” J. of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 72(2), 301-309.

13. Li, S., Li, J., and Zhang, Q. (2011). “Water quality assessment in the rivers along the water conveyance system of the middle route of the south to north water transfer project (China) using multivariate statistical techniques and receptor modeling.” J. of Hazardous Materials, 195, 306-317.

14. Vieira, J.S., Pires, J.C.M., Martins, F.G., Vilar, V.J.P., Boaventura, R.A.R., and Botelho, C.M.S. (2012). “Surface water quality assessment of Lis river using multivariate statistical methods.” J. of Water Air Soil Pollutant, 223(9), 5549-5561.

15. Zhao, Y., Xia, X.H., Yang, Z.F., and Wang, F. (2012). “Assessment of water quality in Baiyangdian lake using multivariate statistical techniques.” J. of Procedia Environmental Sciences, 13, 1213-1226.

16. Badee Nezhad, A., Farzadkia, M., Gholami, M., and Jonidi Jafari, A. (2012). “Chemical quality assessment of Shiraz plain’s groundwater as a drinking water resource using Geografical Information System (GIS).” J. of South Medicine, 17(3), 358-367. (In persian)

17. Hussain, M., Ahmed, S.M., and Abderrahman, W. (2008). “Cluster analysis and quality assessment of logged water at an irrigation project, Eastern Saudi Arabia.” J. of Environmental Management, 86(1), 297-307.

18. Mosaferi, M., Yunesian, M., Dastgiri, S., Mesdaghinia, A., and Esmailnasab, N. (2008). “Prevalence of skin lesions and exposure to arsenic in drinking water in Iran.” J. of Science of the Total Environment, 390(1),

19. WHO. (2011) Guidelines for drinking-water quality, 4th Ed., USA.

20. Christodoulidou, M., Charalambous, C., Aletrari, M., Nicolaidou, Kanari P., Petronda, A., and Ward, N.I. (2012). “Arsenic concentrations in groundwaters of Cyprus.” J. of Hydrology,468/469, 94-100.

21. Gray, N.F. (2008). Drinking water quality problems and solutions, 2nd Ed., Cambridge University Press, New York.

22. Barringer, J.L., and MacLeod, C.L. (2001). “Relation of mercury to other chemical constituents in groundwater in the Kirkwoodcohansey aquifer system, New Jersey coastal plain, and mechanisms for mobilization of mercury from sediments to groundwater.” West Trenton, Geological Survey, New Jersey, USA.

23. Barringer, J.L., Szabo, Z., Schneider, D., Atkinson, W.D., and Gallagher, R.A. (2006). “Mercury in ground water, septage, leach-field effluent, and soils in residential areas, New Jersey coastal plain.” J. of Science of the Total Environment, 361(1-3), 144-162.

24. Kim, J-H., Yum, B-W., Kim, R-H., Koh, D-C., Cheong, T-J., Lee, J., and Chang, H.W. (2003). “Application of cluster analysis for the hydrogeochemical factors of saline groundwater in Kimje, Korea. ” Geosciences Journal, 7(4), 313-322.

25. Kim, J-H., Kim, R-H., Lee, J., Cheong, T-j., Yum, B-W., and Chang H-W. (2004). “Multivariate statistical analysis to identify the major factors governing groundwater quality in the coastal area of Kimje, South Korea.” J. of Hydrological Processes, 19(6), 1261-1276.