REVIEW OF GROUNDWATER POLLUTION AND PROTECTION IN KARST AREAS

˘ FIKRET KAÇAROGLU
Cumhuriyet University, Department of Geological Eng., 58140 Sivas, Turkey (correspondence, e-mail: kacaroglu@cumhuriyet.edu.tr; fax: +90 346 2263618)

(Received 20 December 1996; accepted in revised form 1 September 1998)

Abstract. Karst groundwater (the water in a karst aquifer) is a major water resource in many regions of some countries. Water requirements for most of the settlements in the karstic regions are supplied from karst aquifers. Karst environments are also used for the disposal of liquid and solid domestic agricultural, and industrial wastes, which result in karst groundwater pollution. Karst aquifers have specific hydraulic and hydrogeologic characteristics that render them highly vulnerable to pollution from human activities. Karst groundwater becomes polluted more easily and in shorter time periods than water in non-karstic aquifers. Thus, protection measures are required to preserve the quality and quantity of karst groundwater that specifically consider the vulnerability of the karst environment. In order to preserve karst groundwater, the geological, hydrological and hydrogeological characteristics of the karst area must be investigated and information on polluting activities and sources must be collected. Then, a comprehensive protection and control system must be developed consisting of the following six components: (1) develop and implement a groundwater monitoring system, (2) establish critical protection zones, (3) develop proper land use strategies, (4) determine the reasonable development capacity of the karst aquifer, (5) control and eliminate when necessary sources of pollution, (6) increase public awareness of the value and vulnerability of karst aquifers. Keywords: groundwater pollution, groundwater protection, karst, karst groundwater

1. Introduction The term ‘karst’ is most often used in a geomorphologic sense to describe landscapes that result from dissolution and surface drainage of carbonate terranes. Karst may be defined as the terrane characterized by the specific surface and underground landforms and features (karens, dolines, ponors, channels, caves, closed depressions, dry valleys etc.) essentially developed in limestone and dolomite and also in other soluble rocks (e.g. gypsum, salt rock, quartzite), by a particular type of groundwater circulation and regime, and by the occurrence of springs that usually have large capacity. Karst areas have some distinctive features which distinguish them from fissured and porous aquifers (Bakalowicz et al., 1995): (1) a general lack of permanent surface streams, (2) the existence of swallow holes (ponors) into which surface streams sink, (3) the presence of underground channels (conduits or drains) in which rapid water flow occurs, (4) the occurrence of large springs.
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 113: 337–356, 1999. © 1999 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.

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˘ F. KAÇAROGLU

Circulation of groundwater in karst aquifers is quite different from water circulation in other types (non-karstic) aquifers. In karst aquifers water is being collected in networks of interconnected cracks, caverns, and channels. Hydraulic permeability of karst aquifers are essentially created by flowing water and has anisotropic character (Huntoon, 1995). The pollutants that introduced in a karst aquifer do not behave like those in granular or in fractured aquifers. Transport of the pollutants in karst aquifers is extremely rapid and attenuation is greatly limited. Rapid transport and poor attennuation of pollutants in karst aquifers are a consequence of their hydrogeological properties. The pollutants reaching granular or fractured aquifers are transported relatively slow and greatly (or completely) retarded (removed) by chemical reactions and other attenuation mechanisms. Some karstic solutional and depression features are commonly used for waste disposal in some countries, including Turkey. Dolines and ponors (swallow holes) are utilized as injection points for waste water. Closed depressions such as uvala (elongated bowl-shaped basins in karst with broken ground), polje (large, closed all around, flat floored depressions covered with sediments, with a floor area 1 to hundreds km2 ) are used for solid waste disposal (Figure 1). On the other hand, karstic aquifers are the main water resources for most of the settlements in karstic terrains. The danger for pollution of groundwater in karst areas is much greater than in regions which are protected by overlying impervious deposits. In general, the protective cover (deposits) is absent in karst regions. In addition, the groundwater velocity in karst aquifers is usually much greater (hundreds of times greater than those in alluvial aquifers) that do not allow a sufficient time for groundwater selfpurification. Thus, the groundwater in karst aquifers requires a better protection against pollution than in non-karst areas. This paper discusses hydrogeological characteristics of the karst aquifers, and groundwater pollution, groundwater monitoring and monitoring network design, and the determination of the protection zones in karst areas.

2. Hydrogeological Properties of the Karst Areas Huntoon (1995) defines a karst aquifer as ‘an aquifer containing soluble rocks with a permeability structure dominated by interconnected conduits dissolved from the host rock which are organized to facilitate the circulation of fluid in the downgradient direction wherein the permeability structure evolved as a consequence of dissolution by the fluid’. Karst aquifers comprise a very distinct class of aquifers and present a wide variety of characters due to their different geological and geomorphological context and history. They exhibit highly heterogenous, anisotrophic and complex structure.

(10) submarine karst spring. (8) disposal of municipal waste water into karst aquifer. (9) karst spring. 339 . (7) water well. (3) ponor (swallow hole). Karst features and utilization of the karst aquifer for water supply and waste disposal (after Deˇ irmenci and Kaçaroˇ lu. (5) solid waste disposal into a karstic depression. (4) disposal of industrial waste water into a ponor. (2) boundary of surface drainage area. (11) base of karstification (impervious basement). (1) boundary of g g underground watershed. 1993). (6) karst spring (with limited watershed area).GROUNDWATER POLLUTION AND PROTECTION IN KARST AREAS Figure 1.

The permeability structure of a karst aquifer is: (1) consequence of the circulation system imposed on the aquifer. Figure 2 illustrates surface drainage area and underground watershed in porous (non-karstic) and karstic areas. directions and velocities of the pollutant movement. As seen in Figure 2 (b) the underground watershed of a karst spring may extend to the remote areas behind the hill where the spring is located. temporary natural pondage. and piezometers-spring) applying tracing methods. The permeable character of a karst aquifer is the consequence of the presence of integrated networks of dissolution conduits. and by diffusion infiltration from the surface. in karst terranes the boundaries of the surface drainage area and underground watershed in general do not coincide. 1988). These investigations primarily include mapping karst geomorphology (karst features) of the area and determining the existence of the connections between individual points in the watershed area (ponor-spring. The determination of the watershed areas or groundwater recharge areas for karst springs is important for estimating groundwater supplies and for identifying possible sources. KAÇAROGLU The most important distinguishing characteristic of a karst aquifer is its permeability structure which was essentially created by flow system. piezometers-piozometers. Infiltration is direct through ponors (swallow holes). urban etc. and (2) organized to facilitate the circulation of groundwater in the downgradient direction (Huntoon. The surface area contributing to a given spring or segment of an aquifer of interest must include not only the upgradient karst area but also those surface areas upgradient from the karst that drain to it (Huntoon. the type of rocks in the karst system (the presence of impermeable deposits). 1995): the type of the land use (agriculture. estavellas. The definition of the boundaries and extention of the watershed area in karst is a difficult and complex task. There is an organizational hierarchy of the dissolution tubes within the network.340 ˘ F. and the type of karstified rocks (carbonates or evaporites). On the other hand. The recharge conditions of the karst aquifer depends on (Bakalowicz et al.).. 1997a). Such tube networks in karst aquifers create extremely anisotropic permeability architecture. If the channels are large. . the type of cover overlying the karst (covered karst or bare karst). Quantitave analyses of dye concentrations can reveal information on the storage characteristics of many karst systems (Huntoon. and by direct percolation of precipitation and snowmelt water through the networks of joints and fissures. forestry. In order to precisely define it. the retention capacity of the rocks is smaller. The conditions of the groundwater recharge in karst aquifers are more favorable than for the aquifers of the other types. 1995). The retention capacity of the karst aquifer depends on the relationship between dissolution karst porosity and joint porosity. Dye traces provide direct information on groundwater velocities and migration pathways in karst aquifers. In non-karstic areas the boundaries of these areas almost coincide. 1995). it is necessary to conduct detailed geological and hydrogeological investigations (Bonacci.

(4) stream. 1981). and (b) a karstic area (after Deˇ irmenci and Kaçaroˇ lu. (8) cave. (2) underground g g watershed.GROUNDWATER POLLUTION AND PROTECTION IN KARST AREAS 341 Figure 2. If the density of joint porosity increases. (10) karst spring. Underground channel (conduit) flow is the most important type of water circulation in karst aquifers. (9) karst groundwater table. (1. and . the retention capacity of the rocks also increases (Milanovic.002 to 55 cm sec−1 . (6) ponor (swallow hole). (11) base of karstification (impervious basement). In karst aquifers very rapid water circulation occurs. Surface drainage area and underground watershed in (a) a porous (non-karstic). (5) groundwater table. (7) polje.70 to 47500 m day−1 ). (1) surface drainage area. 1993). Milanovic (1981) states that the average groundwater velocity in Dinaric karst varies within a wide range from 0. (3) water well.

The propagation of pollutants in karst aquifers is much faster than in non-karstic aquifers. (5280 m day−1 ) which indicate the rapid groundwater circulation in the aquifer (Günay and Yayan. 1985). This capacity is significantly affected by transport processes. Pollution of the Karst Groundwater Karst areas are susceptible to a greater range of environmental impact problems than any other terrain (Ford and Williams. 1995). 1979. complexation. Above the capillary fringe. ion exchange. In alluvial aquifers the groundwater velocities usually range from less than 1 m day−1 up to a few meters/day (Matthess and Pekdeˇ er. The possibilities in such karst areas are not only of pollution. so karst groundwater has the potential to be easily polluted. is often polluted before they reach the springs. Hydrochemical bahavior of pollutants in groundwater system differs according to the type of pollutants and physical and chemical conditions within the aquifer (Freeze and Cherry. In karst areas these protective covers are generally absent. 1983). Karst formations generally have large rock and soil permeabilities. Non-karstic aquifers are more protected against pollution by overlying rocks and deposits. fed directly by surface water inflows. KAÇAROGLU most frequently has a value of about 5 cm sec−1 . (4300 m day−1 ).. the reactions between dissolved species and the geological materials (adsorption. reactions may cause some of the pollutants to be transported from the solution phase to the gas phase. the possibilities of groundwater pollution in the area are considerable due to the exposure and dimensions of karst channels and caverns. precipitation. 1979). adsorption.342 ˘ F. 1989). chemical and biological reactions which return polluted subsurface water to its original condition and extensively or completely remove the environmental chemicals which have penetrated underground (Golwer. Pollution of karst groundwater depends on the conditions in the catchment area and on the presence of the potential pollution sources. The natural attenuation of pollutants in karst aquifers is limited because of the . A dye-tracing test performed in Antalya travertine aquifer (Turkey) has given the minimum average groundwater velocity as 6. If these sources exist. bacteriological die-off etc. volatilization. The purification capacity of the aquifers consist of the natural physical. but also of extremely fast transport of pollutants which may bring about dangerous consequences even before the causes have been discovered and undesirable effects prevented (Stevanovich. and hydrogeological properties and conditions.).1 m sec−1 . ion exchange or chemical precipitation) may cause a portion of the dissolved species to be transferred to the solids. g 3. Large groundwater velocities in karst aquifers do not give sufficient time for the pollutants moving in the groundwater to be retarded by chemical reactions or other attenuation mechanisms (acid-base reactions. During the transport of the pollutants by groundwater. Günay et al. 1988). Karst groundwater.

Cl. The pollutants encountered in groundwater can be classified as organic and inorganic chemical. Construction works destroy the covering layers of karst rocks and increase pollution risk. The main human acivities having a high risk for karst groundwater are urbanization. total dissolved solids. Storage and movement of agricultural wastes. b). The possible contaminants that can be found in groundwater are limitless. 1989): (1) significant lack of available surface area for adsorption. Deforestration causes shifting of the water balance with increasing runoff and resulting strong erosion and low retention capacity. urbanization. nitrogen. Forestry construction (roads.g. The liquid derived from this process (leachate) contains large numbers of inorganic (e. phosphorus. and radiological types. Forests on the karstified terranes act as reservoirs (green reservoirs) because they. and (5) lack of sufficient time for time-dependent elimination mechanisms (e. industrial. buidings) causes lubrication oil and petrol leakage and seepage in karst areas. temporarily retain large volumes of water which are released gradually to the underlying karstified rocks (Hontoon. Fe..) which differ depending on the type of industry (Tchobanoglous and Schroeder. heavy metals. tourism. in all inhabited karst areas.g. Human activities have impacts on the quantity and quality of karst groundwater. because it disappears underground (Ford and Williams. heavy metals (e. (2) rapid infiltration of water and contaminants restricts the availability of highly volatile chemicals to evaporate. Unfortunately. biological. Agricultural activities introduce nitrogen compounds (NH3 . dolines and other sinkpoints are perceived as being particularly suited for the dumping of solid or liquid wastes. 1986). 1985). agricultural and miscellaneous. Solid and liquid wastes produced in the infrastructural development (settlement. bioremediation) to act on contaminants because of the rapid flow-through. The principle sources and causes of the groundwater pollution can be summarized under four groups as municipal. and commercial) areas can easily pollute karst groundwater. Na) and organic compounds. Industrial wastes contain a wide variety of pollutants (organic and inorganic compounds. and the application of fertilizers and pesticides have negative impacts on karst groundwater. Use of the hazardous substances in industries and disposal of the waste products are potential threat to groundwater in karst areas. Mn.g. 1989).GROUNDWATER POLLUTION AND PROTECTION IN KARST AREAS 343 (Ford and Williams. 1997a. heavy metals. pathogenic bacteria and viruses. (4) turbulent flow regimes associated with the high flow rates enhances contaminant transport. industrial. or colonization by microorganisms. and the organic mats that support them. Solid wastes dumped in sinkholes or other karstic depressions are subjected to leaching by percolating water through them. Cd). pesticides into groundwater beneath agricultural lands (Houzim et al. potassium. . Raw municipal wastewater contains high concentrations of organic material. ion exchange. phosphorus. and microbiological contaminants. NO3 ). cleaning solvents etc. agricultural and forestry activities. physical. (3) typically thin soil cover and the relatively large secondary voids allow for rapid transport of contaminants. Ca.

moisture and nutrient supply seem to have the greatest impact on bacterial survival. The most prominent processes in the soil that have an effect on microorganism removal and reduction are filtration. Solids with a large specific surface have high adsorption capacity. pH. Hassan. Groundwater velocities in conduits may be as high as 2500 m hr−1 (60 000 m day−1 ) where the gradient is as steep as 1:4. 1996. percent sand. NAPLs are subdivided into those that are denser than water (DNAPLs). Studies have shown the importance of the composition of soils (organic content. 1983).10 to 20 m km−1 . Adsorption of miroorganisms onto clay particles and organic materials effectively remove bacteria from water (Crane and Moore. Depending on the aquifer conditions very different transport times and distances can occur.344 ˘ F. The maximum velocity is important for the assessment of the vulnerability of groundwater systems to pathogenic microorganisms. KAÇAROGLU Physical and chemical nature (properties) of soil (rock) affect on the microorganism survival in the groundwater. 1980. and those that are less dense than water (LNAPLs).5 m hr−1 (230 m day−1 ) in base flow to 400 m hr−1 (9600 m day−1 ) in flood flow within the same conduit. In general. clay minerals. Extremes in pH are detrimental to microorganism survival. velocities range from 9. 1997). 1985). Chlorinated hydrocarbons (carbon tetrachloride. A sinkhole at which a stream sinks rapidly into the ground is a common example of such direct input. Nonaqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) are those liquids immissible with water and have very low solubility in water (Domenico and Schwartz. adsorption and die-off. Lower temperatures increase survival time. permeability. Abu-Ashour et al. In general temperature. Temperature extremes seem to be most harmful to bacteria. Generally a neutral pH environment favors extended bacterial survival (Crane and Moore. 1994). g In a mature carbonate (karst) aquifer runoff may proceed directly into the conduit system where it will flow with little impediment and minimal contact with the rock mass. Elevated temperatures will effectively increase die-off rates. pH. The larger diameters of the flow paths in fissures and solution channels in karst aquifer should allow a better transport of suspended microorganisms (bacteria and viruses). 1985). and nutrients. The clay fraction solids have large specific surface. organic matter. With more typical potentiometric gradients of 0. moisture. Hydrocarbons usually are the common examples for NAPLs. The surface soil is of major importance in reducing concentrations of microorganisms in infiltrating water. sandy and organic soils are poor absorbers and clay soils are good adsorbers (Keswick and Gerba. Pollutants can travel rapidly and have catastrophic effects on water quality more than 15 km away in just a week during the base flow and even sooner during flood flow (Quinlan and Ewers. 1983). cation exchange capacity. . and oxide or hydroxide content (Appelo and Postma. texture.. Acid and basic conditions in aquifer greatly increases die-off rates. 1996). 1990. Langmuir. silt and clay). since it indicates the first possible arrival of microbial pollutants. Coliform bacteria has been observed to be transported in fissured karstic aquifers for more than a few kilometers (Matthess and Pekdeˇ er. Adsorption capacity is linked to clay content.

1997). permeable and karstified. cannery. 1996). Light volatile pollutants tend to rise up and flow through cave passages in gaseous form. C ASE HISTORIES : KARST GROUNDWATER POLLUTION IN ANTALYA TRAVERTINE PLATEAU AND ˙ SKENDERUN K ARST BASIN . such as acetone. The travertine is highly porous. Throughout the retention of these sludge. On the other hand. All the domestic wastes of this population are disposed directly into the travertine without any treatment.). small portions of the pollutants slowly becomes miscible with the water and are transported through the system. 1990). kerosene. pyrene.GROUNDWATER POLLUTION AND PROTECTION IN KARST AREAS 345 tichloroethene. Ekmekçi and Günay. If LNAPLs are present in a karst aquifer the sudden flooding of the aquifer may cause localized decreases in the groundwater velocity and force globules of organic chemicals to be driven into the rock matrix. and forms the second major aquifer in the area. 1996. Hasan. The city of Antalya is located in a travertine area whose surface area is about 630 km2 reaching 250 m of thickness in some places (Figure 3). 1997. 1996). anthracene. and lubricants. phenols. The water for the city of Antalya and some industries is supplied from the boreholes drilled within the travertine aquifer. On reaching the groundwater LNAPLs will spread along the water surface.. Price. and tend to sink to the bottom of the aquifer. LNAPLs consist mainly of petroleum products. heating oil.1. coal tar are some examples of the DNAPLs that commonly found in polluted groundwater. the population of the Antalya increases up to 2 million people. diesel fuil. When introduced in karst terranes NAPLs will travel downward through the unsaturated zone under the force of gravity. Günay and Ekmekçi. jet fuil. and act as a longterm source of groundwater pollution due to typically low aqueous solubilities (Field. along enlarged fractures and conduits. thus providing a continious source of pollution to discharge points (Field. 3. T URKEY I There are some areas in Turkey (for example Antalya Travertine Plateau. there is no sewer system in Antalya city. Municipal and industrial waste waters are directly discharged into travertine aquifer. 1990). 1997). These can then rise into basements creating hazards in the form of toxic vapors that may also be explosive (Field. fruits . During tourism season. etc. Some karst springs (Arapsuyu and Maˇ ara) also are used g to meet water demand. DNAPLs continue to migrate below the water table.. 1990. gasoline. 1995. NAPLs are known to persist in the subsurface for a long time and are capable of polluting a relatively large volume of groundwater in comparison to their own volume (Hasan. ˙ Iskenderun Karst Basin) that karst groundwater pollution has occured (Günay et al. The main industrial activities over the Antalya area are in food and beverages (milk and meat products. Chown et al. DNAPLs tend to form sludges in deep pools and to be adsorbed to microparticles. soft drinks. These globules may be held onto the cave walls or in the tight fractures for long periods. Flow of these fluids is controlled by factors different from those that control aqueous flow (Domenico and Schwartz. 1990.

1995).346 ˘ F. KAÇAROGLU Figure 3. . Groundwater sampling network in Antalya travertine area (after Günay et al..

respectively (Günay et al. SO4 . plastic and synthetic products. Cl. leather products. major cations and anions (Ca.44 mg L−1 . NO3 ) were measured/analyzed..01–2. dissolved oxygen (DO). and nitrogen compounds (NH3 . Turkey. 1997.90 mg L−1 . Protection of the Karst Groundwater Protecting the karst groundwater system against pollution requires understanding the occurrence and the circulation mechanism of the karst groundwater.66 mg L−1 .03–2. 1997). The production boreholes are only a few kilometers away from the polje. 4. NO3 . deep boreholes. Thus.0 mg L−1 (Günay et al. 0–0. Hacettepe University. The reports were submitted personally and detailed explanations given. respectively (Ekmekçi and Günay. and 0. pH. shallow boreholes were sampled. organic chemicals. A total of 35 points. 1995). NO2 . using everyday language instead of technical language. The karst groundwater quality and pollution in Antalya travertine area. EC. Commonly used fertilizers in the area are manure and inorganic fertilizers. 0. cement and lime products. were studied by International Research and Application Center for Karst Water Resources (UKAM). Na. comprising major springs of travertine and limestone. 0. pulp and paper. 500–900 µs cm−1 . 11–124 mg L−1 .001–2.24 mg L−1 . and NH3 contents of the boreholes which supply water to the town range between 0–0.060 mg L−1 . Mg. Ankara. and reports were submitted to local administrators describing pollution problems and suggesting protection strategies. 0. Intensive use of fertilizers and pesticides in agricultural lands within travertine area also causes groundwater pollution. 12–20◦ C. researchers. 0–0. Günay and Ekmekçi. domestic liquid wastes are injected into dolines and sinkholes which are located within the recharge area of the boreholes that supply water for the town (˙ Iskenderun).20–42. HCO3 . In ˙ Iskenderun area.GROUNDWATER POLLUTION AND PROTECTION IN KARST AREAS 347 and vegetables). CO2 . K. NO2 . emphasizing the serious problem that would affect human health in the area. electrical conductivity (EC). storage and flow characteristics of the aquifer.20 mg L−1 . 1997. textile. Seasonal sampling frequency was selected. Ekmekçi et al. NH3 . 20–70 mg L−1 . Studies on karst groundwater pollution and protection in Antalya travertine area and ˙ Iskenderun area were carried out by the researchers of UKAM.. Some water quality parameters in the study area were as follows: T.. PO4 . which are the major con- . The researchers decided that the technical side was adequate. In addition a large polje in the recharge area is being utilized as a solid waste disposal site. sinkholes and dolines. Cl. The PO4 . NO2 . 1995). The annual application rates of inorganic fertilizers and manure in the area are 220 and 600 kg ha−1 . 1997). During some special experiments and tests (carried out by UKAM researchers) indicating the direct relations between the swallow holes and springs or boreholes local authorities were invited to the field. NO3 . the recharge. metal products industries. The water quality variables comprising temperature (T). but the problem was the lack of public awareness (Ekmekçi and Günay.

and their fluctuations. groundwater quality monitoring. radioactive. settlement. and to preserve and improve the quality of the groundwater. (2) properties of the pollutants (solid. tourism. 1995). Protecting groundwater resources against pollution demands (Alföldi.. etc.). location and construction of settlements. and (2) preventing direct disposal of pollutants into the aquifer. (9) rainfall. springs. (8) groundwater circulation in karst aquifer (groundwater flow routes. industrialization. toxicity. bacteriological. liquid. KAÇAROGLU trolling factors of the occurrence and the circulation of the karst groundwater. etc. The regulations for most countries provide for subdivision of the recharge capture area into a number of zones within which different controls/restrictions are placed on activities which have the potential to pollute groundwater. Thus implementation of protective mesures must based on a regional or local scale. velocity and discharge). (1995) outlined the possible control measures that can be applied for urbanization. (6) geology and karst geomorphology of the area. behavior and the degree of the pollution (Günay et al. The source protection measures applied in these countries generally involve the definition of the catchment area to the source. The first steps in planning a rationale. Hoetzl et al. data and information on the following subjects must be collected: (1) sources of pollution (municipal. and waste disposal activities which are particularly relevant for karst regions. Hoetzl et al. In general.). organic. and establishing protection zones. agricultural. agriculture. The technical measures include the elimination of the pollution sources. (7) groundwater recharge areas and watershed boundaries. (4) water sources (wells. industrial. (11) relations of surface waters and groundwater. 1986): (1) preventing pollution to the recharge areas. taking into account the experience of the hydrogeologists who have worked or are working in the area concerned. (5) waste disposal sites and disposal methods (landfilling. (3) attenuation mechanisms of the pollutants. forestry. inorganic. mobility. These measures can be summarized as follows: (1) regulations for planning. . persistence. the approaches are not specifically directed to protection of karst groundwater. mining. Hoetzl et al. to eliminate its consequences. must be characterized clearly. reliable and efficient program for karst groundwater protection is the description of the problem and identification of the geological. hydrological and hydrogeological characteristics of the problem area. (1995) summarized the approaches used for groundwater source and resource ptotection in some European countries. subsurface dischrge).348 ˘ F. (1995) expressed that the achievement of the effective protection of groundwater sources and resources requires the understanding of the local conditions. surface waters) and their locations. stream and spring discharges. (10) groundwater level fluctuations. Measures for the protection of groundwater against pollution are designed to prevent pollution. mining. The type of the recharge (from concentrated to diffuse system). of the flow (from conduit to diffuse system) and the size of the storage system are the main factors affecting the distribution. In order to describe the problem and identify the characteristics of the karst area. land application.

(4) construction of proper sewage and waste water collecion systems. (3) to provide data and information for implementing control measures and groundwater protection regulations and statutes. process and analyze data on water quality as a basis for assessing the current state. (2) to provide data and information for the planning. (6) proper location. These campaigns may take the form of regular newspaper articles. chemical and biological parameters of a hydrogeological system. storage and treatment methods for solid wastes. buildings. (7) construction and operation of proper collection and storage systems for manure and animal slurry. A valid standard for the number of monitoring stations per unit area cannot be defined but depends on the significnce and vulnerability of the aquifer system (Vrba. 1997. (2) treatment of waste waters and liquid wastes. 1997). management and decision-making concerning groundwater resources development. The problem of the lack of the public awareness can be overcome. 1988): (1) to collect.GROUNDWATER POLLUTION AND PROTECTION IN KARST AREAS 349 houses. G ROUNDWATER DESIGN QUALITY MONITORING AND MONITORING NETWORK The first stage of hydrogeological preventive measures is the organization of groundwater quality monitoring as well as monitoring of the sources of potential pollutants (UNESCO-UNEP. construction and operation of fertilizer and pesticide storage facilitis. methodologically and technically standardized program of observations. (5) prohibition or restriction the use of hazardous and toxic materials. and application of appropriate land spreading policy. The objectives of the groundwater quality monitoring can be summarized as (Vrba. public awareness is very important in the improvement of effective karst groundwater protection. industrial plants etc. by an intensive public education (Ekmekçi and Günay. (8) correct application of fertilizers and pesticides. Besides the technical measures. Campaigns organized at a national level must be complemented with activities at the local or community level (Eurepean Commission. Certain environmental conditions of the karst areas require special- . roads. Günay and Ekmekçi. The local authorities must either take the necessary measures to protect the water resources or to educate the public in this issue. to a great extent. regular television spots and public seminars. protection and quality conservation. Groundwater quality monitoring can be defined as continuous. changes and trends of the hydrogeological system due to the natural and human impacts in space and time. 1995). field and laboratory measurements of selected physical. 1988). waste waters and solid wastes into underground.1. Conventional groundwater quality monitoring techniques are inappropriate for karst aquifers. 4. A monitoring network comprise single-purpose and multi-purpose stations. (9) application of propoer collection. Educational campaigns explaining the value of water may increase public awareness.. 1984). The protection of the water resources is primarily related to the consciousness of the local authorities without regard to the perfectness of the efficiency of the technical work. (3) prohibition of the disposal of liquid wastes.

1985): (1) all springs along river banks. 1988). 1988). the short residence time of both groundwater and pollutants (Vrba. storm related water quality variability of a spring in a conduit flow system. Springs are the skeleton of the monitoring network in lowland parts of the karst regions. other resurgences. As a consequence. Sampling in karst regions must be conducted frequently. in most cases. the long duration and large number of observations necessary to monitor the groundwater quality. semi-annual or annual samples. Groundwater quality monitoring in karst terranes when studying the existing pollution or the possibility of pollution in future.350 ˘ F. must be carried out before. and after storms or snowmelt events. temperature and discharge over the year. seasonal. resurgence or cave stream shown by dye-tracing to drain the disposal site. and cave streams do and do not drain the disposal site. It is necessary to optimize the list of the water quality parameters to be determined and number and frequency of observation. (4) at least one hydrogeologically similar spring. decisions may be based on incorrect data (Fields. (2) dye-tracing should be carried out from the disposal site to be monitored and from nearby input sites in order to establish which springs. This must be done because of the high cost of some types of water analyses. 1988). 1988). Properly organized monitoring program will make it possible to detect the signs of water . during. cave stream resurgences at the bottom of sinkholes. In karst areas the common method of locating wells at the management boundary or in a suspected plume is unlikely to yield relevant results. swallow holes (sinkholes) and monitoring boreholes form a basis of the monitoring network in upland part of the karst regions (Vrba. preferably along fracture traces or at fracture trace intersections can be used for monitoring if tracer tests show a connection with the facility under base flow as well as flood flow conditions. sampling must be done much more frequently than was customary in the past (Quinlan. Surface streams. A set of wells lacated in fractured rocks. Randomly located wells could also be used if tracing tests have proven a connection from the facility to each of the wells under various flow conditions (Quinlan. and streams in accessible caves should be located. 1988). The reason is. The design of a groundwater monitoring network in a karst region should include the following steps that maximize the probability of sensing the flow that comes from a particular surface site (Quinlan and Ewers. In order to reliably characterize the natural. (3) a water quality monitoring program should be initiated at any spring. KAÇAROGLU ized investigative and monitoring techniques. Diffuse flow springs have more stable discharge and water quality regime (Appelo and Postma. 1996). Conduit flow springs have large variations in concentrations. because of the faster movement of the karst groundwater and sharp changes in discharge rate of the spring during and after storm periods. stream resurgence or cave stream that dye-tracing has shown does not drain the disposal site should be monitored for the purpose of determining background levels of potential pollutants. rather than with monthly.

The complex and specific characteristics of the karst groundwater requires a specific approach to their protection and establishing of protection zones. 4. The protection zones should be as large as necessary. Consequently the hazards of pollution and the level of protection should be more rigorously determined than in the case of non-karstic aquifers. and as small as possible (Alföldi. it is necessary to prevent its further spread. 1983). The extent of this zone must be such that it protects the . The preventive measures also include the establishment of the protection zones for the groundwater in karst aquifer. the duration of the survival of bacteria (50 days) (Price. These are: (1) The first sanitary protection zone (The most narrow protection zone). A systematic control of protection regulations (measures) in the protection zones and catchment area is necessary for a successful groundwater protection (Milde et al. spring capture) and the facilities needed for operation. an increasing number of activities are forbidden or restricted. The economical aspects must not be ignored when determining the protection zones. (2) The second sanity protection zone. The basis of the optimum solution to the protection problem is an extensive preventive protection based on protection of whole hydrogeological structure or hydrogeological basins (Kullman. G ROUNDWATER PROTECTION ZONES IN KARST AREAS At sites where the groundwater pollution has already occurred. and Novak (1986) described three protection zones to protect the quality and capacity of the karst groundwater resources. 1996) or viruses (1 yr) in the subsurface is taken into consideration to calculate the distance that these microorganisms will travel after infiltration subsurface to reach water sources (springs. boreholes).GROUNDWATER POLLUTION AND PROTECTION IN KARST AREAS 351 quality degradation and of negative effects of human activities (UNESCO-UNEP. or direct health protection zones cannot be established in karstic regions. In karstic regions the rapid flow reduces the time of travel between the infiltration site and springs. Biondic and Goatti (1986). The first sanitary protection zone (The most narrow protection zone) comprises the spring area (spring. and (3) The influential protection zone (The widest protection zone).. 1986).2. The boundaries are rarely situated more than several hundred meters from the pumping wells or several kilometers from the springs (Sarin. In many cases the travel time in karst regions is below 50 days. Within the protection zones with decreasing distance to springs and wells. 1986). The self purification capacities along the karstic pathways are also smaller than those in the non-karstic formations. It follows from the above considerations that the primary level. 1986). Measures for the elimination of the pollution sources and the restoration of the groundwater quality must be taken. 1984). When the boundaries of groundwater protection zones in the terrain of porous and/or fissured aquifer to be determined. service and guarding.

The influential protection zone (The wider protection zone) comprises in principle all the catchment (drainage) area which keeps filling the groundwater source.352 ˘ F. An alternative approach for the determination of the protection zones in karstic areas is subdividing the catchment area on the basis of the karst aquifer vulnerability. On karst terranes this area could be very extensive. quarrying the stone. KAÇAROGLU spring area from the surface or nearsurface inflow of pollutants. The sinkholes with permanent and periodic sinking water. The warehouses for oil derivatives must be regulated (Novak. (3) outer protection zone. The forestry and agriculture is preferable in this zone without application of the harmful substances and exaggerated usage of fertilizers. This region comprises less karstified ground. The industrial structures and livestock farming are not allowed. It is also not allowed to start building new construction or it can be allowed only under special conditions. In this zone some activities are forbidden or restricted (Novak. 1986): (1) the application of the harmful chemicals and fertilizers. 1986). The second sanitary protection zone comprises the immediate hinterland of the spring area. Water source protection measures applied in a number of European countries generally involve the definition of the catchment area to source. belong to the same protection zone (Biondic and Goatti. The nature of the hydrological connection between karst groundwater and surface determines the degree of vulnerability to pollution (European Commission. 1986). EPIK. and to produce maps of vulnerable zones of springs or wells watercatchment basins in karst areas. In most of the countries the recharge area is subdivided into a number of zones. 1995): (1) spring/well head protection area. Doerfliger and Zwahlen (1997) proposed a method. (3) camping or having picnics. The method takes four criteria into consideration: Epikarst (E).. (4) the transit traffic is either limited or forbidden. protective cover (P). from where the surface water and groundwater gravitate directly towards the spring. The same degree of protection must be applied to the sinkholes and the sinkhole area that directly influence the spring (Biondic and Goatti. or exploiting the sand. Vulnerability is an intrinsic property of a groundwater system. 1986). for the assessment of the vulnerability of karstic aquifers. breeding animals. 1986). The rubbish must not be deposited. (2) inner protection zone. which are located on the determined main drainage directions. and (4) catchment area. similar to ones proposed by Biondic and Goatti (1996) and Novak (1996). it could comprise a few tens or hundreds of km2 depending on geological and hydrogeological properties of the terrane. and on the sensitivity of groudwater system to human and natural impacts. (2) the cisterns. Infiltration conditions . and territory which is less or not settled at all. the cess-pools or sinking holes. and will not be threatened in future (Novak. These protection zones (areas) consist of (Hoetzl et al. within which different controls/restrictions are placed on the activities which may pollute groundwater. In this zone a very fast transport of the wastes towards the spring is possible. which depends on the geological and hydrogeological characteristics of an area. 1995).

proper land use planning is necessary. A proposed approach for karst water sources is to have two main protection zones (the spring/source site and the catchment area). (5) infiltration of polluted waste water. although normally it will be at least three.. (3) construction of industrial plants which can pollute groundwater. 1995). The catchment area can be subdivided on the basis of vulnerability. Selected activities that can endanger karst groundwater quality and must be taken into account for the establishment of a code are as follows (European Commission. a code of practice has to be prepared. (7) spreading of effluent from waste water treatment plant. This code must list the degree of acceptability of potentially polluting activities for each zone and sub-zone and describe the recommended controls for both existing and new activities.GROUNDWATER POLLUTION AND PROTECTION IN KARST AREAS 353 (I). (6) spreading of water treatment sludge. In order to protect karst groundwater quality and quantity. Delineation of the spring/well head protection area (zone) is essential when the catchment area and its subdivisions (protection zones) are defined. (8) agricultural practices. Proper measures to prevent or minimize the consequences and probability of pollution must be implemented after analyzing the pollution risk elements. and Karstic network (K). The source itself must be protected from surface runoff by a surrounding wall or a building. (10) quarrying. (2) transport and storage of potentially polluting liquids. To protect groundwater resources a more extensive zoning that may cover the entire land surface of the aquifer must be carried out. 1995): (1) construction works. The recommended strategy for land use planning is the establishment of groundwater protection schemes (European Commission. The area outside the source protection zones can be subdivided on the basis of aquifer vulnerability to pollution and on the value (the importance for public water supply) of the aquifer (European Commission. . Within the water source and resource protection zones. Basically a groundwater protection scheme includes. liquid fertilizer and manure. The purpose of the spring/well head protection area is to prevent the pollution of the water source at spring or well head or from the adjacent distrurbed ground. and the protection zones was delineated. (9) forestry activities. Water source protection zones must be defined around individual groundwater sources of supply which ideally cover the entire catchment area. In this area the activities which are not related to water abstraction must not be permitted. (4) landfill sites. As a result of the zoning a map which consists of a number of groundwater protection zones is obtained. The method was applied to watercatchment basin of spings used by a town in Switzerland. This area must be under the ownership and control of the groundwater abstracor. Access to this area must be restricted (Hoetzl et al. The number of vulnerability categories may vary. a land surface zoning map and a code of practice. 1995). 1995).

Infiltration of the surface runoff may proceed directly into the underground channel (conduit) system. KAÇAROGLU 5. pp 89–103. C. XIX. H. 446 p. European Commission. and Goatti. Sarin. S. Proceedings. in Symposium on Groundwater Protection Areas (19th Congress of IAH). Bosch. in COST Action 65. B. as a consequence the propagation of the pollutants in the karst groundwater is much faster than in non-karstic aquifers. Significant amount of pollutant storage may occur within the karst aquifer. House. .354 ˘ F. 536 p. Biondic.: 1996. vol XIX. and establishment of the protection zones based on protection of the entire aquifer or groundwater system.. the prevention of the waste disposal in karst areas. the disposal of the solid and liquid wastes into them results in the karst groundwater pollution. Monitoring of the groundwater quality and pollution in karst terranes and monitoring network design differ from those for granular or other types of aquifers. and do not leave sufficient time to be retarded by chemical reactions or other attenuation mechanisms. Czechoslavakia. L. and Zelin... Due to the hydrological and hydrogeological properties of the karst areas. A. ‘Protection of Groundwater in Karst Areas of Croatian Littoral’. R. Lee. Air. House. the elimination of the pollution sources. part 2.: 1995.. 141. D. Alföldi. cave streams. A. Conclusions The danger for the pollution of the groundwater in karst areas is much greater than in non-karstic areas. Final report. Hydrogeological Aspects of Groundwater Protection in Karstic Areas.. The main measures to prevent the quality degradation and pollution of the karst groundwater are. The measures must also include the educational campaigns for increasing of the public knowledge and awareness in properties and vulnerability of the karst environment. and Soil Pollut. M. Proceedings. and Tulipano... Springs. Novinar Publ. vol. and stream resurgences are the easiest reliable sites to monitor the pollutants and background water quality of the karst groundwater (Quinlan and Ewers. ‘The Characteristics of Karst Groundwater Systems’. Whiteley. Novinar Publ. and Postma. Very rapid water circulation occures in the karst aquifers. ‘Groundwater Protection in Porous. Luxembourg. in Symposium on Groundwater Protection Areas (19th Congress of IAH). Orvan. P. Wells on cave stream and fructure traces can also be used for monitoring taking into account their connections with the pollution sources. A.: 1986. 1985. restriction or prevention of the activities which endanger the groundwater quality. H.. 1988). Balkema. M. Water. L. Groundwater and Pollution. 75. J. D. Non-karstic aquifers are more protected against pollution by overlying rocks or deposits (soil). Geochemistry. In karst terranes these protective covers are generally absent. I. Rotterdam. part 2. Joy. Appelo. Salaga. Quinlan. Bakalowicz. V. Czechoslavakia. D. Fractured and Karstic Aquifer Systems (General report)’. J.: 1994. References Abu-Ashour. J. pp 112–120. Drew.: 1986.

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