WATER AIR AND SOIL POLLUTION, vol.202, pp.69-89, 2009 (SCI-Expanded)
The high radioactivity and trace elements in drinking water are common concerns for human health. The aim of this study was to investigate the eligibility of groundwater for drinking purpose in terms of both radioactivity and trace element contents in Eskisehir Region (Turkey). The study area is located in a highly populated residential area where water supply is mostly met from groundwater. The area is about 20,000 km2, where igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks are exposed. The 209 water samples collected from 84 water resources (including thermal waters) were analyzed with respect to major ions, trace elements, and radioactivity (gross alpha and gross beta) during both in wet and dry seasons. Based on the analysis results, trace elements in 49 samples of 84 water resources were over the limits of Code TS 266 1997 (Turkish Drinking Water Standards) and WHO 1993 standards. Particularly, Fe, Mn, Al, As, Ba, Zn, Cr, Cu, and B ion concentrations exceeded the limits. The gross alpha values in 18 locations and gross beta values in three locations also exceeded the limits of aforementioned standards in terms of radioactivity (gross alpha = 0.1 Bq L−1; gross beta = 1 Bq L−1). Furthermore, water radioactivity levels were close to the allowable limits in 33 water resources. The obtained results explicitly indicate that there is a strong relationship between the higher radioactivity–trace element contents and geochemical composition of rocks, which controls the radioactivity and trace element concentrations present in the aquifer.