Risks Associated to Soil Pollution in the Proximity of Tailing Facilities in the Western Area of Baia Mare

Modoi O. Cristina, Al. Ozunu, I. C. Stezar

Abstract


Baia Mare town is situated in Northern side of Romania and it is well known for the old mining activities deployed in the area. The hazardous waste landfills positioning directly on the soil without other protection it is known as being a source of pollution for the underground, and the wastes resulted from ore processing are included in the hazardous waste category, due to their hazardous substances content and their large quantities. This study presents the soil pollution in the near vicinity of the tailing dams: Aurul, Bozânta Nou and Bozânta Vechi. Soil samples located in the proximity of the tailing dams as well as samples from inside the tailing dams were analysed in order to determine the acid water drainage. For the soil samples were determined the concentrations for As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Mn, Zn, total cyanide and the pH values. The results were compared with the maximum admissible threshold values in the Romanian environmental protection regulations, for less sensitive soils. Exceeding concentrations for the analyzed elements were determined, especially in the proximity of the Aurul tailing dam pump station used to recycle the water inside the dam. It can be possible that these high concentrations for the analyzed elements are due to some local leakage. The cyanide concentration did not exceed the thresholds values in any of the analyzed sample. The following metals and metalloids had concentration values above the maximum threshold value: Pb, As, Cd, Cu, and Zn. For the pH indicator the minimum value was also determined in the area of the water recycling pumps inside the Aurul dam. (3.99). The risks associated to soil pollution in the near vicinity of the analyzed tailing dams consist of soil alteration including the farming land, the possibility of pollutant migration in the groundwater, with a direct impact on it and on the human health of the inhabitants in the villages nearby who use the groundwater for several housing chores, including as drinking water.

Keywords


risk, soil pollution, mining waste, groundwater pollution, threshold values

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