Point source pollution and variability of nitrate concentrations in water from shallow aquifers
Applied Water Science
Agriculture is one of the several major sources of nitrate pollution, and therefore the EU Nitrate Directive, designed to decrease pollution, has been implemented. Point sources like septic systems and broken sewage systems also contribute to water pollution. Pollution of groundwater by nitrate from 19 shallow wells was studied in a typical agricultural region, middle Podravina, in northwest Croatia. The concentration of nitrate ranged from \0.1 to 367 mg/l in water from wells, and 29.8 % of
... total samples were above maximum acceptable value of 50 mg/l (MAV). Among regions R1-R6, there was no statistically significant difference in nitrate concentrations (F = 1.98; p = 0.15) during the years 2002-2007. Average concentrations of nitrate in all 19 wells for all the analyzed years were between recommended limit value of 25 mg/l (RLV) and MAV except in 2002 (concentration was under RLV). The results of the repeated measures ANOVA showed statistically significant differences between the wells at the point source distance (proximity) of \10 m, compared to the wells at the point source distance of [20 m (F = 10.6; p \ 0.001). Average annual concentrations of nitrate during the years studied are not statistically different, but interaction between proximity and years is statistically significant (F = 2.07; p = 0.04). Results of k-means clustering confirmed division into four clusters according to the pollution. Principal component analysis showed that there is only one significant factor, proximity, which explains 91.6 % of the total variability of nitrate. Differences in water quality were found as a result of different environmental factors. These results will contribute to the implementation of the Nitrate Directive in Croatia and the EU.